Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Assad hopes Obama 'sincerely' pursues Mideast peace process

"Syrian President Basher Assad on Wednesday expressed his hopes that the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama would bring about a change to U.S. policy on the Middle East, to allow it to pursue peace throughout the region 'sincerely'.

Assad told the Washington Post in an interview published on Wednesday that he had three hopes for the Obama administration's Middle East diplomacy, beginning with an abandonment of the "pre-emptive war" doctrine of the Bush administration.

Assad said he hopes such a move would be followed by support for Syria's indirect talks with Israel and the pursuance of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and the Lebanese at the same time. The Syrian President said he does not believe any diplomatic track should come first, saying "each track will help the other."

Finally, Assad said he hopes the United States and Syria will work hand-in-hand to stabilize Iraq as U.S. and coalition forces begin their withdrawal, the Washington Post reported.

"We can't turn the clock back," Assad said of the war in Ieaq. "Now we have to talk about the future. We have to forge a process, a political vision and a timetable for withdrawal."....."

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