Olmert: Don’t develop false hopes about Syria

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said yesterday in a tour of the north that Israel will not renew the negotiations with Syria until they stop supporting and sponsoring terrorist groups. Olmert warned not to develop false hopes in the matter.

“There are those who suggest embracing Assad, but I suggest we not forget the thousands of missiles that fell on our heads here. They all passed through Syria and some were manufactured there. All terrorist groups have their headquarters there and they are supported by the Syrian government. The kidnappers of Gilad Shalit are in Damascus and so we cannot fantasize on starting negotiations tomorrow. Syria has to stop supplying missiles that could hit our cities. We are not going to get carried away on an adventure while there is terrorism. We will not get carried away on negotiations until they take some basic steps,” said Olmert.

Olmert added that whenever Syria will stop supplying missiles to Hizballah and stop supporting terror groups, Israel will gladly negotiate. “We will talk only if Syria changes radically,” he said. Olmert said these things in response to a statement by Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter who said to Israel Army Radio that Israel will withdraw from the Golan Heights in return for a lasting peace with Syria.

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