The realization of the just and comprehensive peace has ever been the noble objective of H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad. Actually, all the measures and political moves taken by the Syrian leadership aim at the restoration of stability, security and realization of the peace. This strategy of peace has been characterized and reflected by H.E. President Al-Assad through:

The principle of land-for-peace. This principle is not clear or unacceptable to them. Their positions on eastern part of Tiberias Lake are still as they were. We refuse to negotiate any object unless there is an agreement on the basic principle. We will say to all those that are our conditions for peace. Whoever can implement them, we are ready to continue negotiating. We deal with realities not speculations.

We started the peace process 13 years ago, and we have not achieved anything. One reason is that there are is no criteria. So, the instrument or the vision that we have is the one we agreed on in the Madrid Conference; we, as one party, and the other parties, the United Nations, the United States, and all countries of the world supported the Madrid Conference which possessed the instruments, the road, the objectives and the vision. We should reconsider the causes of the failure of the peace process; we should put new criteria and move on with confidence. Then we can achieve peace. This is the Syrian vision which we propose to the officials we meet to discuss the peace process. (December 14, 2003)

The basics are '' the full withdrawal from the occupied territories of 1967, the Palestinian State with east Jerusalem as its capital, the right of return" asserting that the initiative asserts " Arabs' desire for peace'' and exposes the '' Israelis who don't desire peace''. "The principle of the peace process is the land for peace. The land is an integrated one factor, either to be restored in full or to remain till it is to be fully restored. The second factor for Peace also consists of its components including, for example, the issue of water, relations, security arrangements including the disarmament of Mass destruction weapons and nuclear weapons which Israel possesses.

I am going to go back to the word conditions. Israel, in its statements with senior officials, always says we reject Syrian conditions. In fact, Syria has never set any conditions, and we always say that Syria does not have certain conditions at all. When Syria speaks about the bases for peace it refers to the necessity of implementing Security Council resolutions and Madrid terms of reference. These terms of reference were not invented by Syria, rather they were American ideas and they became international resolutions once they were approved by the international community. And due to the Arabs desire to reach a genuine peace, they adhered to these terms of reference. Hence, our conditions are the conditions of the international community and they stipulate the full return of the Syrian rights. The international community is the one who met in Madrid and decided what are the terms of reference for peace. Thus, the terms of reference are agreed upon by the international community and we are part of this international community and we do not live outside it.

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The realization of the just and comprehensive peace has ever been the noble objective of H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad. Actually, all the measures and political moves taken by the Syrian leadership aim at the restoration of stability, security and realization of the peace. This strategy of peace has been characterized and reflected by H.E. President Al-Assad through:

The course of events during the latest few years has proved that the realization of peace is the vital interest for all. The basics for the process of peace are quite clear; that is the return of the Land on the bases of Madrid Terms of Reference, the principle of the Land for the Peace, Resolution 242, and the return of the Golan: the full return of the Land is the Principle not to be discussed.

The Arab Peace Initiative (API) without peace has no value. If peace was to be realized on the bases of the Peace Terms of Reference (PTR) - UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and the Principle of the Land for Peace- then, in accordance with API, Arab countries would sign. We negotiate on the bases of the PTR, and not on the bases of API, which is NOT the PTR. PTR are present including the right to return. If Olmert were to say now that he were prepared for negotiations, what would we say to him? Regardless of the API, we say to him you are a criminal; we do not negotiate with a criminal.

Peace without Syria is unthinkable.

The only option left for the Israelis is to abide to peace with its due prerequisites. The peace is never to be attained as long as the title to take pride in Israel remains through whom to more blood-stain his/her hands with the blood of Arabs. We do not see this option- peace option- now, and would never see it tomorrow till we change it through our will in the absence of their will.

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The realization of the just and comprehensive peace has ever been the noble objective of H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad. Actually, all the measures and political moves taken by the Syrian leadership aim at the restoration of stability, security and realization of the peace. This strategy of peace has been characterized and reflected by H.E. President Al-Assad through:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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The realization of the just and comprehensive peace has ever been the noble objective of H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad. Actually, all the measures and political moves taken by the Syrian leadership aim at the restoration of stability, security and realization of the peace. This strategy of peace has been characterized and reflected by H.E. President Al-Assad through:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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The realization of the just and comprehensive peace has ever been the noble objective of H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad. Actually, all the measures and political moves taken by the Syrian leadership aim at the restoration of stability, security and realization of the peace. This strategy of peace has been characterized and reflected by H.E. President Al-Assad through:

Syria's belief in just and comprehensive peace doesn't mean relinquishing a speck of soil or a drop of water.

The Syrian Arab Golan will remain Arab and Syrian and will return to the homeland Syria.''

We have to believe that only peace can help us.

We have desperation especially regarding the peace process because we always say no to anything which is not methodical. When it is methodical, we will be ready to move right away and this evening. It does not need preparation."

Peace is when you have normal relations, when you bury the hatchet and when people can deal with each other. This needs lots of steps and a lot of support. At that time, the arbiter should perhaps have a more important role than during the negotiations.

There is one reason preventing the achievement of peace, which is occupation. So, occupation is the cause of all wars, First the English, then the French, and now Israel. In short, Israel must apply all the UN Security Council resolutions and return the occupied lands to our people.

We always express our opinion clearly and publicly and affirm that we want peace and the agreement; but we cannot achieve this only from one side, and the other side must participate until now, there is no partner of this kind. The result is that the Israelis chose a government that advocates extremism, and this government doesn't bring peace.

The absence of peace, due to the Israeli policies and despite Syria's relentless efforts to achieve it, aggravates tension and undermines Syria's endeavors for development and economic prosperity.

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