Posted by Joshua on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
Gulf Times: TURKEY is “really hopeful” that Syria and Israel will soon sign a peace deal that will ultimately “change the course of history”, Turkish Ambassador Mithat Rende told Gulf Times yesterday.
He said Turkish leaders had been fervently pursuing a proposal to make lasting peace between Israel and Syria by following the path of “quiet diplomacy”. The proposal includes a deal wherein Israel will return to Syria the Golan Heights occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967. In return, Damascus and Tel Aviv will sign a peace treaty, it is learnt.
According to the ambassador, Turkish leaders have made many trips to Damascus carrying fresh proposals and new ideas. “We have made it clear that it is not in any-body's interest that Syria is isolated or alienated. The talks are being held at the highest levels, since the matter is of grave concern and the decisions have far-reaching consequences.”
Asked about the reasons for the high optimism in Turkish circles, the ambassador said Turkey “is considered a honest broker, who maintains equidistant between the two parties. We also have been consistent in our policies.” Rende said peace efforts and development should go hand in hand. “Durable peace is possible only with a change in the standard of living of the people. A poor population has a fertile mind, suitable for indoctrination by militant groups,” the envoy opined.
Don’t Be Afraid of Peace With Syria
by Haaretz, Editorial
There seems to be a need to repeat, over and over, this basic fact: Nothing contributes to Israel’s security more than a peace accord. Before the protests of solidarity with the Golan Heights begin, it should be emphasized that withdrawal from the Golan in exchange for peace is endorsed not only by bleeding hearts, but by distinctly security-minded figures. …
Peace is not a commodity in high demand when the border is quiet, but peace with Syria might open up the possibility of regional peace by changing the balance of interests in the area. Access the full article>>
North Koreans May Have Died in Israel Attack on Syria, NHK Says
By Tak Kumakura
April 28 (Bloomberg) — Ten North Koreans may have been killed in an Israeli air strike on Syria in September, NHK reported on its Web site, citing unidentified South Korean intelligence officials.
The 10 people, whose remains were cremated and returned to North Korea in October, had been helping with the construction of a nuclear reactor in Syria, Japan's public broadcaster said. Some North Koreans probably survived the air attack, NHK said. The U.S. government last week accused North Korea of helping Syria build a secret nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium.
Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek, here: (Thanks FLC)
"…. The neoconservative vision within the speech (McCain's) is essentially an affirmation of ideology. Not only does it declare war on Russia and China, it places the United States in active opposition to all nondemocracies. It proposes a League of Democracies, which would presumably play the role that the United Nations now does, except that all nondemocracies would be cast outside the pale……"……McCain appears to think that he can magically unite the two main strands in the Republican foreign-policy establishment. But he can't. This is not about personalities but about two philosophically divergent views of international affairs. Put together, they will produce infighting and incoherence. We have seen this movie before. We have watched an American president unable to choose between his ideologically driven vice president and his pragmatic secretary of State—and the result was the catastrophe of George W. Bush's first term. Twenty-five years earlier, we watched another president who believed that he could encompass the entire spectrum of foreign policy. He, too, gave speeches that were drafted by advisers with divergent world views: in that case, Cyrus Vance and Zbigniew Brzezinski. It led to the paralyzing internal battles of the Carter years. Does John McCain want to try this experiment one more time?"
Martin S. Indyk, April 24, 2008, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs