"We will remain free in our national decision-making and sovereign in our international relations and our resistant course to achieve just and comprehensive peace according to international legitimacy resolutions that stipulate for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab lands up to the June 4th 1967 line… those who bet on other than that are delusional… hardships make us more resilient, conspiracies make us stronger, and pressure causes it to adhere more to our standards and rights that cannot be liquidated or marginalized.''

From H.E's Army Day Speech, (August 1, 2011)

 "This is a very very important question, because many people do not understand the difference between peace and a peace treaty. And we always talk about comprehensive peace, because if you want to have real peace with normal relations between people, you need to have comprehensive peace, because in Syria we have 500 thousand Palestinians, and in Lebanon you have another half a million Palestinians. They have all their rights in Syria except for the voting right, as they are not citizens, but they have every other right…they are in the government…they are everywhere in Syria, they are part and parcel of this society. So people are sympathetic to them, and if you do not find a solution with them, you cannot have real peace. You can have a peace treaty. If I have everything I need as Syria, I cannot say no to the treaty, I am going to sign it. But what are we going to look for?...a treaty?… a meeting between the officials?..an embassy surrounded by police that nobody dares to deal with? People do not deal with each other and they hate each other? Rather we need to have normal relations. Peace for us is to have normal relations, like between Syria and any other country in the world. So having peace treaty only with Syria could be only one step, but cannot be peace. That is why comprehensive peace is very important. This is the real solution."

From H.E.'s Interview with Wall Street Journal, (January 31, 2011) 

   

"The question that must be posed is whether the Israeli people will work to change this image or not… we don't know. There are no talks now between Syria and Israel… the Israelis aren't ready to hold any negotiations and don't want to resume any negotiations."

From H.E's Interview with ' Hurriyet' and the 'Bild' Dailies, (December 19, 2010)

 ''Whoever wants to talk about peace must speak of the withdrawal from the land and the return of the rights and not of settlements. We've had the same stance on the issue all along.''

From H.E.'s Statements during His visit to France, (December 9, 2010)

 "I believe that even the countries whose governments stand by Israel understand the Syrian viewpoint… It has been proven for all that Israel is the problem as well as it is the obstructer… the problem is no longer what does Syria say… the problem which we discuss with everybody is how we can convince Israel to move towards peace… we agree on the UN Security Council resolutions… they know that peace will not be achieved without the restoration of the whole land without any conditions.. This issue is non-negotiable…and what remains is how the other countries could convince Israel,"

From H.E.'s Statements during His visit to France, (December 9, 2010)

 "I stressed Syria's desire and efforts to achieve peace and the importance of implementing the international legitimacy resolutions related to restoring the rights and finding a partner for us in the peace process."

From H.E.'s Statements during His visit to Ukraine, (December 3, 2010)

 "Syria is looking, through the upcoming membership of India in the Security Council, to India's continued support for our issues and help for realizing peace based on the legitimacy resolutions, the land-for-peace principle and for removing all obstacles that would impede the security and stability in our continent and the world, especially that India experienced the justice of our issues so it supported our legitimate rights, on top of which is the issue of Golan and the Palestinian cause.''

From H.E's Statements during Indian President Devisingh Patil's Visit to Syria (November 27, 2010)

 "The peace process needs parties, sponsor, reference; and the basic role lies in the parties; and if there are no parties willing in peace, we can't ask Europe or the US to play a role. Europe today can assume that through persuading the parties to play a role in the peace process. Syria is ready; they have to work in this regard on the Israeli side, and Latin America play this role and this broker could negotiate with the US which is one of the sponsors to launch this process,"

From H.E.'s Press Conference in Spain, (July 5, 2010)

 ''Syria wants comprehensive peace, but this peace cannot be completed on the Syrian track only, but it must also include the Palestinian track which cannot be completed without establishing a Palestinian state and restoring Palestinian rights, and at the same time lifting the siege on Gaza.''

From H.E.'s Statements in Argentine  (July 3, 2010)

 ''Syria has exerted extensive efforts in cooperation with Turkey to push the peace process forward in addition to the efforts exerted by Brazil in this regard.''

From H.E.'s Statements in Brazil (June 30, 2010)

 ''All those efforts were always blocked by the Israel rejection of peace and met with more wars, referring to the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in 2006 and the aggression on Gaza in 2008 which claimed the lives of thousands of innocents while the settlement acts continue and the occupied Jerusalem is exposed to attempts of Judaization as well as the latest violation represented by that attack on the Turkish ship which was carrying humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza. All of this proves that Israel is not ready for peace."

From H.E.'s Statements in Brazil (June 30, 2010)

 ''Peace is not about visits is not about protocol or official visits it's about the will when you don't have a partner you don't waste your time with these pro forma actions so we have to be realistic its about the land it's about Israel withdrawing from our occupied  land.''

 From H.E.'S BBC Interview (June 17, 2010)

 "So, Israel has to know that as long as it remains the occupier of the territories, it would remain the unquestionable enemy for the owners of those territories; and as long as Israel remains against the peace, it remains the enemy for all peace advocates. We, as the people the indigenous People of this region want peace.''

From H.E.'s Press Conference with Premier Erdogan (June 7, 2010)

 ''It- peace agreement- has to be comprehensive.  The Syrian-Israeli agreement could be important step, but it’s not the final step because there is big difference between talking about peace treaty and peace.  Peace treaty is like a permanent ceasefire.  It’s not comprehensive.  There’s no maybe you have embassy, but you actually won’t have the trade.  You won’t have normal relations because people will not be sympathetic to this relation as long as they are sympathetic with the Palestinians: half a million who live in Syria and half a million in Lebanon and another few millions in other Arab countries.  So comprehensive peace on the Syrian-Lebanese and Palestinian tribe this is going to be the real peace where you have normal relations.  This is where we can bury the hatchet, not only to have peace treaty.  So that’s how we see it.''

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 ''From our point of view, it- peace- could happen soon if you have another partner because this is about — actually the peace process about two parties.  And if you ask me, I will say yes.  If you have partner, it will happen soon. But today, we don’t have this partner so far.  At this moment, we don’t have a partner.''

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 ''I think people who elect such extremist government, they don’t want peace.  But as in politics, I will say let me see what’s going to happen in reality.  I don’t believe, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop working for peace.  If I don’t believe that they want peace, we have to help them believe in peace.  They have to learn that only peace can protect their country.''

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 ''So definitely, the one who occupied the land should withdraw because my land is like my property.  And if you have a thief who takes your property, you don’t make compromise.  You tell him first give me back my property, my things.  Then we can discuss any compromise.  You don’t discuss the compromise with the thief before having your things returned.  So that’s how we see it.  So the beginning is to end the occupation.''

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 ''We don’t have any conditions.  There is only one condition which is international condition, which is the Security Council resolution on which the whole peace process based in 1991.  So we don’t have any condition, but we have rights.  And rights we don’t discuss.  It will go back.''

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 ''And when you talk about the peace, you talk about Syrian track/Lebanese track means Syria and Lebanese governments, and Palestinian track, Palestinian government. When the governments recognize Israel and Israel is committed to the treaty, I think the whole mood, the whole atmosphere on the popular level will change, for everybody will go in that direction.  But the recognition that you’re talking about will come from the government, not from the people.  The people will reflect their recognition by normal relations, by trade, by tourism, as I said, and any other kind of relation.  If Israel is committed, I’m sure the people will be very positive in that action. That takes time. To be realistic, that will not happen overnight. Conflict for 60 years, a treaty is not enough to change it overnight.  It takes time. It needs procedures.  You start building the trust after the treaty, so, how to win the trust, that will take time.  But I’m sure normal relations will be dominating between Israel and neighboring countries. There’s no doubt about this. Whether Hezbollah, Hamas, or any other one.  At the end, they are organizations; they have people, they have grassroots.  The grassroots part of this society will be affected, so of course it will.  And we’ll encourage it. Of course we’ll encourage it, because we always ask for peace.''

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 “Listen, it will not happen in the near future. Israel, right now, is not ready for an agreement. It can not do it. The Israeli society has moved too far to the right. It is a process that initiated back in 1967; then, it deepened with the rise to power, simultaneously, of the right in America and Israel: with Bush and Sharon. Besides, there is the need for a true leader, one capable of leading the society. Not just an employee, whose only interest is to be re-elected every four years”.

From H.E.'s La Repubblica Interview (May 24, 2010)

 “Let’s put it this way: if someone stole something from you, would you want all of it back, or would you be satisfied by regaining only part of it? We can accept many compromises: on matters of security, on the relationship. But on the land, no: there is no compromising over the land”.

From H.E.'s La Repubblica Interview (May 24, 2010)

 ''As for the US sponsor, we are still in waiting that it would indeed and seriously move towards the peace process. What Russia can do is to search for the partner, whom we do not see now from the Israeli party, and to convince it with the importance of the peace for it as well as for the region. Furthermore, Russia can open dialogue with the US sponsor to encourage it as to quickly move to push the peace process ahead. Once we would reach to this phase, there would be details, principles, and mechanisms which the Russian party could discuss with concerned parties as to guarantee the approach, continuity, and consequently as to make the peace process a success.''

From His Excellency's Press Conference with Russian President Medvedev, (May11, 2010)

 ''As for the last part of your question, compromises are always present except when it comes to the rights; that is if somebody robed your properties, you might accept a compromise in a certain direction; but would not accept that he -the robber- would restitute to you part of your properties; he should restitute all the properties in full. Compromise could be made as far as other aspects. Thus, the land should be restituted fully, any other thing like relations, security arrangements and all other details have in them compromise.''

 From His Excellency's Press Conference with Russian President Medvedev, (May11, 2010)

 ''Turkey is one basic part and players in the process of peace. We do not meet today as to ask Mr. Erdogan or to encourage him to play the role of the mediator in the process of peace: Turkey several times and persistently has announced its preparedness as to play this role. Further, Mr. Erdogan has not come as to encourage Syria to commit herself to the process of peace; he knows more than others Syria's zeal for the achievement and accomplishment of the Just and Comprehensive Peace in the Middle East. The world today, as we know, is much more interested in the process of peace; it seems that such interest is because the process is, unfortunately, dying; the process of peace is in need for interest, not only when it fails, but the process is perhaps in need for more interest when it starts to make success or when to kick off; that is why, we always witness fluctuations in this process between the ups, but not high, followed by the quick downs.''

From His Excellency's Conference with Premier Erdogan, (December 23, 2009)

 ''I have discussed talked with His Excellency the Chancellor about an inter-European dialogue as to move towards the peace; so that there would be a clear-cut, united, objective, and realistic European role as far as the Process of the Peace.''

From His Excellency's Conference with Chancellor Faymann, (December 23, 2009)

 ''The area today, when we speak of the Israel-Arab conflict, is still a region between peace and war. This situation can’t continue. It can only end with peace or a war. If the war doesn’t happen, there will be extremism. Both hypotheses are bad, let’s hope that there will be negotiations and measures that will lead to peace and normal relations in the whole region.''

From His Excellency's France 2 TV Interview, (November 15, 2009)

 ''The Process of Peace has its prerequisites, without which it would fail,''

From His Excellency's Paris Visit Statements, (November 13, 2009)

 ''The main source of the problem is Israel's occupation of others' land; there is the occupation of the territories, naturally reactions from the citizens would appear. Israel should withdraw from the territories, which it occupied, and sign a peace agreement.''

From His Excellency's Interview with the Turkish 'Hurriyet' Daily, (November 8, 2009)

 ''Syria believes in the Just and Comprehensive Peace, because the Peace forms the appropriate background as to combat violence and terrorism phenomena,''

From His Excellency's Press Statements during His visit to Croatia, (October 28, 2009)

 ''I have explained to President Mesić the viewpoint of Syria regarding the presented issues, with particular focus at the Cause of the Peace in the Middle East, reiterating the Syrian commitment to the realization of the Just and Comprehensive peace, based on the Resolutions of International Legitimacy, and Madrid Conference. This requires the presence of the partner from the Israeli Side, as to complete the Process of the Peace. The failure of the Process during the last two decades adds but a new burden for the European Countries, as to revive this halted Process, which would guarantee security and stability in the Middle East, as well as for Europe and the World,''

From His Excellency's Press Conference with the Croatian President, (October 28, 2009)

 ''The Peace and occupation do not match; the Peace and occupation can never go together within the same State and at the same place. It is impossible to have an occupier country, and working at the same time for the Peace; Israel has to choose whether to be the first- the occupier- or the second- the Peace-. Thus, as to reach to this Peace, we need the Israeli Partner; so that we could find a peace agreement, which accomplishes realistic peace on the ground,''

From His Excellency's Press Conference with the Finnish President, (October 22, 2009)

 ''The partner for the peace is only to exist when pressures are to be exerted upon it; so that it would understand that a one colour could never live in the Middle East of diversity, and that the sole price for the peace is but the full return of the rights, and that force, regardless of how much big, is incapable of uprooting the people or faith,''

From His Excellency's Istanbul Speech, (September 16, 2009)

 ''We are strongly committed to the Turkish role and mediation,'' ''The indirect peace negotiations are the basis for the direct ones. If we were to make a success during the indirect negotiations phase, and the Turkish role were to make a success, it would be possible to move on to the direct negotiations, we can liken the said basis to a building; if the building has weak foundations, this building will collapse over its owners with the first sway; that is why we have to make sure that the foundations are solid during the indirect negotiations phase, so that the building of the peace would be solid, and then the matters for the coming generations would be good and normal.''

 From His Excellency's Istanbul Speech, (September 16, 2009)

 ''We want the Mediterranean to be the Lake for Peace, cooperation, and to be the Minaret, to which the people of the world aspire against occupation, oppression, injustice and tyranny,''

From His Excellency's Press Statements during the Visit of President Demetris Christofias of Cyprus to Syria, (August 31, 2009)

 “All in all, we have underlined that there has never been an Israeli partner; this does not mean that we have to stop working for the realization of peace; thus, once a partner would be ready, we could achieve peace as soon as possible.”

From His Excellency’s Azerbaijan visit Press Statements, (July 8, 2009)

 “I have also given explanations to President Aliyev about the siege imposed on the City of Gaza, with what it causes of slow death for the Palestinians, the necessity to lift the siege, in parallel with the achievement of reconciliation among the Palestinians, as to realize peace on the Palestinian track, which is a fundamental part of the other tracks:  for the comprehensive peace process.”

From His Excellency’s Azerbaijan visit Press Statements, (July 8, 2009)

 “The Palestinian reconciliation is the essence for whatever would be solution in the region. Without the unity of the Palestinians, and without the unity of the Palestinian stance, there would never be a peace on the Palestinian track, neither a tow-state solution, nor restoration of a land, nor a return for refugees. If the peace was not to be achieved on the Palestinian track, other tracks would remain incomplete, even peace agreements were to be signed on other tracks, including the Syrian one. So, we have ever reiterated the necessity for the comprehensive peace, tracks concomitance, or coordination; so that we would achieve peace and not only sign peace agreement; hence the peace agreement is but the first step towards the peace, and not the final one, as some believe. The steps which follow the first step are linked to the concomitance or coordination among the tracks of peace.”

From His Excellency’s Statements during Turkish President Visit, (May 15, 2009)

 “The other aspect of the issue, which is different, is when you talk about the relation between the peace process on the Syrian track and the Lebanese and Palestinian tracks. When you talk with Syria about its borders there is no Hezbollah or Hamas involved. So, that is not realistic. When you want to discuss the issue of Hezbollah and Hamas, you have to talk about comprehensive peace. So far, they do not talk about comprehensive peace. When they started the negotiations with Syria they only talked about the Syrian track and we said the longer the borders, the bigger the peace. When you talk only about sixty kilometers or sixty-five kilometers, which is the Syrian borders, you cannot talk about Hamas and Hezbollah. They are not going to attack Israel through Syria, anyway. So, what is the relation?! When you want to discuss them, make comprehensive peace and there will be no problem.”

 From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

 “The Palestinian issue is still the core issue of the peace and the core issue for the Arabs since 1948. For Syria, it has another aspect because we have half a million Palestinian refugees in Syria and half a million in Lebanon and they are linked to each other. So, you can talk about one million refugees in total. You cannot have real stability unless you have comprehensive peace that would solve the problem of the Palestinians in our region. So, that is why the Palestinian track is very important to support the Syrian track and, of course, the Lebanese, at the same time, because of the same problem. They ask us to move on the Syrian track. If this guarantees our rights we are going to move. But are we going to achieve peace eventually? They do not differentiate between a peace treaty and peace. The Palestinian reconciliation is important for the Syrian track and, of course, it is vital for the Palestinian track. You have to work hard for it, not to spend time siding with one party against another.”

 From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

  “For peace, there is no time for that goal to achieve. It is a goal. It is like talking about Resolution 242; it has been there for forty two years and it is still viable. So, it is the same for a two-state solution; otherwise, if they want to reach a one-state solution can you have a state in which any Arab could be the Prime Minister? Can they move for that? I do not think they are going to do it. So far, everybody in the world supports a Palestinian state; so why not go in that direction? Of course, that is normal. I do not think there is a problem about it. The problem is with the Israelis, not the Palestinians, in accepting a two-state solution.”

From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

 “No, nobody took it- the Arab Peace Initiative- back. We talked about suspension. Suspension is "inactivating" which means it is "off". Why is it off? Because this initiative was rejected by the Israelis for years. But it is still there. How can we activate it? I need the partner. I do not have the partner. Because peace is like marriage. It needs another party. But the Israeli partner is not ready. That is why it is automatically "off". I did not turn it off, it is turned off. The reality. When you change the reality it will be on. I do not make it "on" and "off". That is what I explained in my speech in the Doha summit. It is suspended just to warn the world because the rest of the world did not pay attention to it. So, especially in France, when I went to France for the Union for the Mediterranean we asked them to mention it in the final communiqué, they said no, we do not want it. Europe did not want it and Israel did not want it, and they did not put it in the final statement. This is double standards; suddenly when we say "suspended," they came to Syria and said "How? Why did you suspend it? This is wrong". This is wrong? You were against it, I was not against it. So, it was killed by the Israelis first. It was killed by the Europeans in the summit second. Now they want to revive it,  that is good.” 

From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

“The Palestinian reconciliation protects Palestine from the Israeli aggression, and helps to re-launch peace on the Palestinian track. We, in Syria, have talked since day one of the process of peace, about the comprehensive peace. The comprehensive peace can not be on the Syrian track alone; we need the Palestinian track, so that there could be coordination between the two tracks; we win, and so do they,”

 From His Excellency the Qatari Al-Sharq Daily Interview, (April 1, 2009)

“Any peace is to be built on the basis of present realities. Can you tell me that the war of 2006 is not among the new realities? 2006 has changed the map of the region. Undoubtedly a change in the map does effect whatever peace negotiations in every state. The war of Gaza is too one of the fundamental points; it influenced or to influence any political activity related to the process of peace in the future; this is out of question. We, however, can not say that Syria has benefited, with an opportunistic meaning, but rather as a natural consequence like others,”

 From His Excellency Assafir Daily Interview, (March 25, 2009)

"We were on the phone for hours and hours. Olmert was avoiding the issue. I asked him, through Erdogan, for a clear answer. He suggested delaying the decision by several days, in order to consult his government. But after that, four days later, the war in Gaza broke out. Another missed opportunity. And then Turkey stopped playing by the rules with Israel. It felt deceived."

 From His Excellency La Repubblica Interview, (March 18, 2009)

"The conditions for peace are clear to everyone: The Madrid Conference, the UN resolutions, starting with 242, the 'territories for peace' formula – meaning, returning the Golan Heights to Syria. They must simply want to implement it. We are ready.”

 From His Excellency La Repubblica Interview, (March 18, 2009)

"When you have the direct negotiations that should lead to the signing of the (Syria-Israel peace) treaty, this is where you need the arbiter,"

 From His Excellency the Japanese Asahi Shimbun Newspaper Interview, (March 12, 2009)

"Possible progress of such talks would depend on the next Israeli administration."

 From His Excellency the Japanese Asahi Shimbun Newspaper Interview, (March 12, 2009)

“The indirect negotiations have proved that Israel is never willing for peace, nor able to achieve it. We have to verify the willing beside the ability and along with a change in the Israeli dealing with Arabs. We can never accept the more of aggression or the more of massacres.”

From His Excellency Al-Manar TV Interview, (January 26, 2009)

 “The peace of the strong is never to be given to the weak, the peace of the brave is never to given to the coward. The peace which is not to be given is but to be taken; and the right usurped is but to be restored,”

 From His Excellency Speech at Gaza Summit of Doha, (January 16, 2009)

“The top priority of our political strategy is to find a just and comprehensive solution for the conflict- the Arab Israeli- based on international legitimacy resolution, with all of what that means of an end to wars, imposed upon our people and countries, the restoration of security and stability to these countries and to the region in general. But, all of this should be within the frame of the Israeli preparedness to make peace, and awareness of what the Israelis indeed want through their talk of peace, and the definition of peace concept which they accept or call for.”

  From His Excellency Speech At the opening of the 2nd Transitional Arab Parliament Session, (November 9, 2008)

  “We are keen on the achievement of the just and comprehensive peace, based on our fixed and inalienable, under no circumstances, rights, on top of which is the undiminished withdrawal to the line of June 4, 1967.”

“The Israeli non-responding to peace requirements on the Syrian track, indicates that peace for Israel is but a tactical action rather than a strategic option.”

  From His Excellency Speech At the opening of the 2nd Transitional Arab Parliament Session, (November 9, 2008) 

 “Israel, not even for a single day, has cancelled the idea of aggression from its policies, caused by the Israelis’ latent fear of peace, especially at this time, when we witness the increasing flagrant trends of religious and racial extremism by the Israelis; concepts of expelling Arabs, and other racial expressions have, rather,  become more present in their political discourse,”

  From His Excellency Speech At the opening of the 2nd Transitional Arab Parliament Session, (November 9, 2008)

“Our belief in peace and optimism as to achieve it do not push us as to have illusions or day-dreaming, nor to fall into the trap of peace tracks game; but rather motivate  us to the more of commitment to our rights and to build the more of our force.”

  From His Excellency Speech At the opening of the 2nd Transitional Arab Parliament Session, (November 9, 2008)

  “We’re not betting on names of people who might accede to leadership posts in Israel, Netanyahu or any other. As far as we are concerned, there’s no great difference between one candidate and another. They may be in disagreement on questions of internal policy, and we haven’t heard anything from Netanyahu about the Golan so as to evaluate his position. We won’t go into the game of names of people in Israel; we’re looking at what they intend to do. That’s the criterion of the talks now going on in Turkey. As for the military aspect, and not to go into details, the scenarios are many and have no end, since the region is vast and all possibilities are envisaged. Syria is ready to confront them without going into military details.”

 From His Excellency Monday Morning Interview, (September 30, 2008) 

“I have explained to President Basescu the whereabouts of the indirect peace negotiations between Syria and Israel with the mediation of Turkey, reiterating the Syrian well-known stance regarding the support of the peace process that would lead to the restoration of all of the occupied territories and to the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions, and top of which resolution 242. This issue was fundamental in our discussions; hence the stability of the Middle East is basic to the stability of other parts of the world. Consequently, peace is an issue of priority for us; I think it to be also the same for many European countries.”

 From His Excellency joint press conference with President Basescu of Romania (October 20, 2008)

“His Highness Sheikh Hamad and the State of Qatar are concerned and continuously supportive of the peace process. They might be playing this role far from the limelight and silently. President Sarkozy is very enthusiastic for an active role by France and Europe in the process of peace. France, for sure, is to have a basic role during the phase of direct negotiations. France has an important position in our region, and its role is necessary to help the United States, which, may be because of geography distance, knows less about this region. Turkey is among the few countries which were interested in the process of peace seriously during past years. Turkey is the only country succeeding in re-launching the indirect negotiations under the circumstance when peace was even away from the mere thinking of”

 From His Excellency Statements at the Quartet Damascus Summit  (September 4, 2008) 

“It is not suffice to talk only of the Syrian track- of the Middle East Peace Process-; the Palestinian track is very vital to the peace process. We hope for the presence of an international support as to make progress on this track, as not to talk only of the signing of the peace process; but rather to talk about the peace realized on the ground as being among the people, and not only among officials, governments  or negotiators,”

 From His Excellency Statements at the Quartet Damascus Summit  (September 4, 2008)

“We search now for the possibility as to achieve result in the peace process. The essence of the cause is the restoration of the occupied territories, and the demarcation of the borders between Syria and Israel. We have made it clear for Israel that no peace between us is to exist, as long as our occupied land is not restored in full.”

 From His Excellency Interview with the Russian Kommersant Daily  (August 20, 2008)

“We have initiated peace negotiations since the 90’s ; have never surrendered our rights, nor would we surrender them now,”

“We are keen on the creating of a common base as to move to the direct negotiations with Israel. The US role is basic in the peace process; we never reject this role; especially when the US would have a genuine intention to this effect,”

From His Excellency Statements in France (July12-14, 2008)

“We are keen on the creating of a common base as to move to the direct negotiations with Israel. The US role is basic in the peace process; we never reject this role; especially when the US would have a genuine intention to this effect,”

 "Signing a peace accord with Israel is a question that requires from six months to two years maximum if both parties are serious in engaging direct talks,"

From His Excellency Statements in France (July12-14, 2008)

"This is not like drinking tea,"; "The meeting between me and the Israeli prime minister will be meaningless without the technocrats laying the foundation, without reaching the final stage."

From His Excellency Statements in India (June 19th, 2008)

“Actually, we achieved 80% of what we have to achieve before signing the treaty but of course we do not have precise criteria; this is our estimation. But that is true; we achieved a lot during Rabin, but because of his assassination everything stopped. That's why we have been asking for starting from where we stopped during Rabin, where we talked about the security arrangements, which was the most difficult issue. Of course, we had Rabin deposit which means giving back the Golan Heights till the line of 4th June 1967, and we were about to talk about other issues like normal relations such as having embassies and things like this, and we did not talk about water; this is what has been left. That is true.”

From His Excellency Indian Daily, the Hindu Interview (June 12th, 2008)

“The Israelis used to think that with time they are going to be stronger and any opposition to their policies will be weaker, but actually what happened was the opposite. Now, the Israelis learned that without peace they cannot live safely and Israel cannot be safe. I think this is true especially after the war on Lebanon and because of the result of that war inside the Israeli society; this is the main incentive for the Israelis to move toward peace. This is our analysis.”

From His Excellency Indian Daily, the Hindu Interview (June 12th, 2008)

"We can not accept preconditions on us, bearing on countries that have nothing to do with the peace march. Shall we lose our relations with the world just for the sake of forging relations with Israel?"

From His Excellency Statements during His Kuwait Visit (June 4th, 2008)

"Syria is now in the stage of indirect negotiations in Turkey through a Turkish mediator. In case of a common ground for negotiations, there will be public talks just as was the case in 1990," “But, the Israeli side insists on scrapping all previous agreements, something which indicates that Israel is not earnest about peace,”

From His Excellency Statements during His Kuwait Visit (June 4th, 2008) 

"There are no direct talks at this stage,", "We believe indirect negotiations are sufficient at this stage as we are still negotiating to find a common ground. [But] we are willing to move to direct negotiations once this is reached,"

From His Excellency Statements during His UAE Visit (June 3rd, 2008)   

“ Erdogan- the Turkish Premier, has informed me of the Israeli willingness to withdraw from the Golan in return for peace with Syria.”   “ Mediations between Damascus and Tel Aviv have been intensified basically following the aggression against in Lebanon during the summer of 2006, and after the victory of the Resistance. The Turkish involvement to this effect came since April 2007 yielding new positive details; where Olmert – the Israeli Premier- affirmed to the Turkish Premier his willingness to return the Golan. We have received this news a week ago; following that we have heard Olmert saying “ We know what Syria wants, and Syria knows what we want.”.

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

“ What we need now is to find the common ground through the Turkish mediator,”“ There would never be secret negotiations with Israel; there  would be , if to take place, announced indirect negotiations through the Turkish side. We are to deal first with the issue of the restoration of the land as to see Israel credibility. We have to be precise and cautious in dealing with this issue; perhaps with a new US Administration, we can  talk after that of direct negotiations.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

“During the visit of the Turkish Premier to Damascus, though coming within the frame of the meetings of the Syrian-Turkish Businessmen Council, we, definitely, would talk about this point. ““Israel presents the idea of direct negotiations; this, however, has different basics. And now we do not talk of this; rather we talk about a Turkish role. It is a Turkish mediation conveying the basic information and details as to find a common ground. This is to be the basic as to launch direct negotiations in a later stage.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

“We have never spared an opportunity but as to express at the Arab level our desire for peace; the last of which was through our participation in Annapolis . However, Israel avails every opportunity to prove the opposite, to prove its intransigency, rejection for the implementation of the International resolutions, and to prove its disregard for our rights and peace initiatives. The question to raise is whether to leave the peace of process and initiatives hostage for the consequent Israeli governments, or to search for choices and alternatives that would realize the just and comprehensive peace capable of the restoration of all the rights undiminished. That is whether to present unconditional initiatives, where they- the Israelis- select from them whatever they like and whenever they like, whether our initiatives are influenced by the aggressive Israeli policies, and massacres, or whether they were concrete initiatives unconditioned to timing or circumstances. This is a call for the revision of the contents of our strategic choices searching for balanced stances conducive to  the requirements of the just and comprehensive peace, with all what that includes of the restoration of the occupied land securing the legitimate rights , on the one hand, and proving the minimum limit of steadfastness and resistance factors,  as long as Israel rejects peace and persist in aggression, on the other. We today meet when the blood of the Martyrs by the Israeli massacres or holocaust, as they themselves have so called, in Gaza are still running before world silence, the wrath of the Arab citizen, and before the deplore form every living conscience.”

 From His Excellency Opening  Speech of  20th Arab Summit  (March29th 2008) 

"It is perhaps too late to talk about peace in the last year of this US administration. It will be preoccupied with elections,' 

From H. E. ’s Austrian Die Presse Interview  ( December 19, 2007)

“Whenever you talk about non-peace and non-war situations, this means that it will end by either peace or war; you do not have a third option. We have been working on peace since the peace conference in Madrid, 1991. Of course, the situation and the atmosphere are not good as it was used to be.”

“We are working to achieve peace in the region. We in Syria work for peace. It was surprising for us and for the entire world, why they did they do it? Nobody knows why. What is the target? But the target is not an important target; and I think if they knew what it was they would not have done it.”

“You cannot talk about peace and carry out attacks against a neighboring country. This is the only message that we got.”

From H. E. ’s BBC Interview  ( October 1, 2007)

“Talking about the negotiations needs more than one party; it needs a third party, which should be an impartial arbiter, but it does not exist. The United States, especially this administration, is not interested in peace. It is impossible to move towards peace and to achieve something without the United States; that is what stopped it. This is first. Second, you have a weak government in Israel, and weak governments can launch war; they cannot make peace. While in Syria we still have the public support to go towards peace, and we do not have any problem. So, we have to see what can be done with the other party to talk about direct negotiations.”

“I think we do not have a lot of opportunities to squander, because the more opportunities you lose, the more peace is going to be difficult. I mean this conference or any conference is going to be an opportunity, but it should be purposeful and substantive. I do not see where the purpose and what the substance of this conference is, what are they going to talk about, what are the criteria, what are the methods and means? Everything is not clear. If you want to prepare for a conference like this, you have to see what happened before in the Madrid Conference in 1991 when there was shuttling by the American officials between the different countries for nearly ten months. They did not go to any party this time. So what kind of conference is this one? It needs more clarification for Syria to take a decision.”

From H. E. ’s BBC Interview  ( October 1, 2007)

“All these issues are related to the peace process. If you have peace, you would not have any problem. It is all related to peace, and if you have comprehensive peace, you will not have problems with Hezbollah, Hamas, Jihad, Syria, Iran or any other party in the region.”

From H. E. ’s BBC Interview  ( October 1, 2007)

“ The real peace which endures has a cost less by hundreds of that of the occupation” “Syria does not favour ‘secret negotiations’ and the need is for ‘ an Israeli clear, serious official declaration’ regarding the desire for peace, suggesting a written-pledge regarding withdrawal from the Syrian Golan Heights to the line of June 4, 1967, citing the Israeli Premier, Mr. Rabin written pledge as to withdraw from the Syrian Golan Heights to the line of June 4, 1967.  Syria, “ has direct interest in peace process” denying some Israeli claims regarding the Syrian want for peace “ as to alleviate pressures”.  

From HE’s Second  Presidential Term Inauguration Speech , ( July 17, 2007)

"In fact, there is no progress in the peace process and there is not any contacts with Israel whether secretly or publicly, because Israel is not ready for the just and comprehensive peace which needs strong leaderships that can take decisive decisions, particularly in the presence of a weak government incapable to take such strategic decision,"

From HE’s Speech before the Syrian Parliament in ‏2007‏‏‏( May 15, 2007)

"Syria has always talked about peace as a strategic option, and Syria seeks to restore rights without a high price by peaceful means and the next few months will determine war or peace depending on the Israelis in the first place."

From HE’s Interview with Dubai TV, (August 24, 2006)

"We started the peace negotiations in 1991 with Israel. We said when Israel withdraws from our lands we recognize Israel. So when you say recognize you say it when you achieve peace. Anyway, when you have peace talks with Israel, this means you recognize the reality of Israel. But when you say verbally that we recognize it politically, that will come as a result of the peace. So, the position of Hamas is like this. They used to say we don't accept Israel but now they don't say it. Recently, Hamas has become very pragmatic, very realistic."

From HE’s Interview with PBS US TV Network, (March 30, 2006)

"That will take me back to what I said in the previous answer: the solution is through United Nations or Security Council Resolutions. Security Council resolutions define the borders by June 1967. So the fence is much far behind. I mean behind Palestinian territories. So this won't lead to any solution. The facts proved that this fence wouldn't do much to Israel, so I will advice any rational Israeli to go back to these resolutions. This is the main solution. You may sometimes win some political, security and military battles but eventually you need the stability and it happens when you have normal relations. The fence won't give you normal relations. It is a matter of people not governments."

From HE’s Interview with PBS US TV Network, (March 30, 2006) 

" Thirdly, since it came to power, the US Administration has not showed any real desire for peace particularly on the Syrian track. If the US and Israel are not interested in the peace process, we cannot expect any serious move soon. At the same time Turkey tried to play a positive role in the issue particularly during my visit to Turkey, and that was one of the first issues proposed by President Ahmet Nacdet Sezer to me. And I told him at that time that we trust Turkey because she understands our position, and Turkey's position has always been fair with regard to the peace issue and to the Arab issues in general and regarding the Palestinian issue and the issue of the occupied Syrian territories namely the Golan. You can go ahead and we support any Turkish role in this report. There was actually an Israeli rejection of any role because there was no desire in the peace process, and as I said Syria's position has not changed."

From HE’s Interview with Turkish TV, (December 28, 2005)

"And we're still ready. So we haven't changed as Syria. What changed, two things. The administration in the United States has changed and the government in Israel."

From HE’s Interview with CNN, (October 12, 2005)

"The issue of peace was at the heart of these events and cast shadows over other issues. This process receded, in its general atmosphere, many steps backward, not only because of Israeli intransigence and its rejection to respond to the requirement of peace, but also because of the lack of international responsibility, when Israel is concerned, for the implementation of international resolutions, and the lack of seriousness on the part of the international community in shouldering its responsibilities in this concern."

From HE’s Speech before the Syrian Parliament in 2005, (March 5, 2005)

"As far as we are concerned, we have stressed on many occasions that peace in our region will not be achieved until we restore our occupied land; and that many of the problems that have appeared recently find their solution in providing the opportunities for just peace, which removes the causes of tension, conflict, frustration and disappointment. Syria has proposed the resumption of negotiations without preconditions. But we stress at the same time that the absence of these conditions doesn’t mean discarding the frames of reference, the rules and resolutions which have to be met and implemented. Our frame of reference is that of Madrid which includes resolutions of the international legitimacy. It was not surprising for us that Israel rejected the resumption of negotiations, and has put condition under deferent pretexts to escape and avoid the requirements of peace. We simply think that the peace process needs requirements: first of all, the will of the parties to achieve peace, second to have an honest sponsor, and third technical requirements like negotiations, terms of reference and standards. What is lacking today is the will of the Israelis; the will of the sponsor, the United States, and also the standards and criteria. So the peace process is stalled for the foreseeable future. But until that time we should not stop talking about the peace process. That is why we continue dialogue with our European friends and other concerned parties, in order to identify the mistakes of the past and in order to draw a vision for the future. And when all these conditions change we proceed forward with the peace process."

From HE’s Speech before the Syrian Parliament in 2005, (March 5, 2005)

"Andarono così: il presidente Clinton chiamò mio padre al telefono. Lo convocò a un vertice a sorpresa. Gli disse, vieni, vedrai, sarai soddisfatto. Aveva ricevuto assicurazioni dal premier israeliano Barak. Clinton incontrò mio padre a Ginevra. L'accordo era sulla restituzione del Golan a eccezione di una fascia larga cento metri lungo il Lago di Tiberiade. All'ultimo istante Barak si tirò indietro. Fu preso dal timore prima di salire a bordo dell'aereo che doveva condurlo al vertice. Capì che Israele non era pronto alla pace, che lui non aveva un sostegno politico alle spalle. E invece la Siria era pronta. Già con Rabin avevamo sfiorato la pace. Poi Rabin è stato ucciso, e con lui le speranze."

From HE’s Interview with the Italian La Repubblica, (February 28, 2005)

"Per la Siria, lo ripeto, la pace è una scelta strategica. Per Israele, invece, cambia di governo in governo".

From HE’s Interview with the Italian La Repubblica, (February 28, 2005)

“The process- the Middle East peace process- as you know has stopped for years as a result of Israel's rejection to resume the negotiations and its continued occupation of the Arab lands and its continued aggression on the Palestinian people. It is also because the international powers didn't commit themselves to their obligations towards the peace process, and because they are not serious about implementation of the international legitimacy resolutions when it comes to Israel.” “Syria has always reiterated its clear-cut stance over the Middle East process in different occasions, and reassured its sincere desire to establish a just and comprehensive peace in line with the UN resolutions and the land-for-peace principle.”

 From HE’s Speech to the Syrian Expatriates  Conference,  (October 9, 2004)

“But, instead of the promises of aspired-for peace, the peoples of the region have been living a state of despair and social deep crisis as a result of Israeli hegemony being practiced, undeterred, against the Arab people. Israel has been exploiting the prevailing, at this stage, of fighting terrorism to settle its calculations with the living forces who defend their rights and dignity. Israel has been practicing the state terrorism which uproots the land and man, assassinates an entire unarmed people. It is regretful that the UN, again, is unable to issue a resolution to condemn Israel's crimes because of the U.S. unlimited support to it.”

  From HE’s Speech to the Syrian Expatriates  Conference,  (October 9, 2004)

“It was reported particularly recently through the press that there are secret negotiations between Syria and Israel as part of the peace process. I would like to explain this point: the Syrian stance over the peace is declared and well-known. There are several mediators who were coming to Syria from European countries or from the U.S. to make mediation on the resumption of the negotiations between Syria and Israel. Indeed some of them submitted holding secret negotiations, and they said that Israel was willing to hold such negotiations”. “As for us, the Syrian stance over the peace process is obvious and well-known we reacted in a question form: what is the purpose of secrecy in the negotiations? And what is more important is that the Syrian people and the Arab people in general support peace negotiations and the peace process because they want peace. We see that the peace process is a process made between peoples. The problem lies in the Israelis who seem unqualified for the peace process. For us the peace process will only be public as it was in the past. Whoever wants to negotiate, then we are ready publicly and within the well-known or declared basics.”

 From HE’s Speech to the Syrian Expatriates  Conference,  (October 9, 2004)

"The peace process is in need of parties willing to make peace. It needs a sponsor as well. The Arab side be it a Palestinian, Syrian or Lebanese, since the Madrid conference in 1991 when the peace process was launched, has expressed in practice, words and political discourse, its willingness to achieve peace, while the Israeli side has not been so. For instance, when the Madrid conference was announced, then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said: "we will make negotiations go on for ten years." In other words, he as a Prime Minister expressed his unwillingness to make peace. Now after 13 years, peace has not been realized. ‏"

From HE’s Interview with the Chinese People daily, (June 21, 2004)

" The second point is that following the assassination of Rabin in 1995, Israel didn’t have any Prime Minister who actually wanted peace, each one of them wants to prove himself and win the elections through killing more Palestinians or shelling neighboring countries. This is the policy which is adopted in Israel. ‏" " On the other hand, the peace process sponsor has an important role, but Americans are not interested so much in the peace process. The priority for them is the Iraq issue. On the peace tracks, the priority for them is only the Palestinian track. But we say that if the peace process is not comprehensive, peace will not be realized. We cannot say a Syrian, Lebanese or Palestinian track only, since they are interrelated tracks. ‏"

From HE’s Interview with the Chinese People daily, (June 21, 2004)

"We call it a just and comprehensive peace. If it is not achieved, there will be no peace. They always look for peace agreements, which are no more than paper documents, but peace is a world in itself and people, it should be between peoples but not between officials, foreign ministers, presidents or heads of governments. In order for peace to be between peoples, the agreed upon issues on paper must be in agreement with the interests of peoples, and just."‏ The problem of the peace process is that it has broken away from the Security Council resolutions. ‏ Of course, the Madrid Conference embodied the Security Council resolutions, Had work been done on the implementation of the Security Council resolutions and the Madrid conference, there would have been no problem. ‏"

From HE’s Interview with the Chinese People daily, (June 21, 2004)

“We emphasize that option of just and comprehensive peace in accordance with Madrid Terms Of Reference, the relevant international resolutions and the "land for peace" formula that call upon Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, safeguard the legitimate rights of the Palestinians people in establishing their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and complete the Israeli withdrawal from the rest of the occupied Lebanese territories. All the Arabs expressed this stand when they adopted the peace initiative in Beirut Summit in 2002, while the Israeli response to it was evasiveness, disregard and more acts of killing and persecution.”

From HE’s Speech Welcoming the Spanish King  , ( October 21, 2003)

  “Arab peace initiative in Beirut summit reflected the Arab Nation's readiness to achieve peace but Israel reacted by increasing its aggression on the Palestinian people, rejection the international resolutions and continuing building the racial separation wall.”

From HE’s Speech Welcoming the Malaysian Premier  , ( August 17, 2003)

"The said second factor for peace would never be there without the first one, that is of the land, which is never subject for negotiations,'' added the President. Considering the past ten years of the Israeli maneuvers in peace talks, President Assad called for '' clear guarantees' regarding the full return of the land to the line of 1967'' through "an official Israeli written document" or at least "through an Israeli announcement before the whole world that it would in full withdraw from the land." Considering the failure of Mideast peace sponsors during the last ten years, President Assad noted that a sponsor has to be like a '' judge'', entrusted with a certain law recognized by the world, calling for a clear approach as to sponsor the process of peace and for a Euro-US dialogue and even with the UN citing that '' Israel was rewarded, though it stands against peace, while Arabs were punished and pressured and accused, though they stand with the peace process,"

From HE’s Speech before Beirut Arab Summit, (March 27, 2002)

"The peace process is in need for a peace plan and not for words, for content not for form," the President added calling for action as to salvage the Palestinians from '' massacres'' and from '' the new holocaust'' calling on Arab countries, which have relations with Israel, to break them off before it is too late. "The only reference for the peace process is that of Madrid and the resolutions it is based upon." the President stressed asserting that there is no need whatsoever for another conference; hence the basics are the same and would never be changed."

From HE’s Speech before Beirut Arab Summit, (March 27, 2002)

"We, in Syria, like things to be clear. We do not like to address any issue in a vague foggy environment. We have important things that we would like to do to our country and we have no time to waste on issues which do not lead us anywhere. The mistake that was committed by some European countries and by the United States is that they believed that negotiations by themselves could bring peace."

From HE’s Interview with the Italian Corriere Della Sera, (February 14, 2002)

''Our stance is very clear; we have no Syrian conditions but rather rights recognized by the international community. Just and comprehensive peace would ever be our strategic option notwithstanding the change of circumstances.''

President Assad declared during his visit to France, (June, 2001)

“We, in Syria and the Arab Homeland at large, seek peace. We advocate peace, strive for it and want peace to be just and comprehensive, leading to the liberation of the occupied Arab territories and to the restoration of the rights to their owners.”

From HE’s Youth Message, (August 8, 2001)

“Syria is serious in working for the realization of peace but the aim of returning to peace talks should be the realization of the just and comprehensive peace in the region, which involves the commitment of all parties to this,''

 From HE’s Statements during his  talks with the visiting Former  German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder. (October 31, 2000)

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim