"I have explained to President Mesic the whereabouts of the peace process in the Middle East, including the indirect talks between Syria and Israel, held with a Turkish mediation, the importance of the realization of the just and comprehensive peace in the region; pointing out the importance of the reactivation of the European role in Mideast Peace Process, supporting the related UN Security Council Resolutions, and the necessity of linking the Israeli response to these Resolutions to the European relations with Israel at all levels," said His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad, December 22nd, 2008, in a joint press conference with His visiting Counterpart, H. E. President Stjepan Mesic of Croatia. 

"I have discussed with President Mesic the catastrophic situation of our Palestinian People in Gaza due to the Israeli unjust blockade and the collective punishment policy practiced by Israel. I have made clear to President Mesic the necessity for the European Countries to take a stance in the interest of humanity, through the working as to lift the unjust blockade on the armless Palestinian People in Gaza," added His Excellency President Al-Assad pointing out that the talks dealt, further, with the issue of bilateral relations, Arab-Euro relations, as well as with means and ways of bolstering relations between Syria and Croatia.

 

 "The security of the Arab World is linked to the security of Europe across history; further, the future of our two regions faces similar challenges and has joint prospects," said President Al-Al-Assad describing the talks as useful and constructive and as an "important opportunity for viewpoints exchange regarding all presented topics" including the developments of the situation in Iraq and the necessity of the evacuation of the foreign troops from Iraq, securing its unity, land as well as people, independence and sovereignty. 

In reply to a question regarding the possibility of moving the indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel into direct ones, His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad said: "It is natural that in a later stage, we are to move to direct negotiations; Peace can not be achieved only through the indirect negotiations, it is like a process of construction: we construct the solid foundations, and then, construct the building, and not the opposite. What we are doing through the indirect negotiations is to lay the foundation for this huge building; if the foundation base is successful, the direct negotiations would be a successful stage, and then, naturally, the peace is realized. As far as we are concerned, the base is the commitment to related UN Security Council Resolutions; this is what Syria asserts, this is the stance of the most of the world countries, including Croatia." 

In reply to a question related to the New US Administration, His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad said "We hope that with the New Administration- I think many worldwide share us this hope- there would be no new wars in any place of the world, especially in the Middle East. Secondly, we hope that the Administration is to work seriously, practically and realistically for peace in our region. Thirdly, we hope that this Administration would undertake a serious work , would have a clear vision for solving the big problem; which is Iraq; first through the work as to withdraw foreign troops from Iraq; second, through the creation of a political process which would lead to the stabilization of Iraq, and to the unification of its territories in the future."

 

Edited & Translated by

Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Rome 22, December, 2008.