Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Israeli aggression on Lebanon was planned in advance: Syria

The Peninsula On-line: Qatar's leading English Daily
Israeli aggression on Lebanon was planned in advance: Syria
Web posted at: 8/2/2006 3:47:47
Source ::: THE PENINSULA/ by a Staff Reporter
Walid Al Muallam

Doha � Syria said yesterday the attack on Lebanon was planned well in advance by Israel, the US and some of their regional allies. The visiting Syrian foreign minister, Walid Al Muallam, told reporters here that Tel Aviv�s expansionist agenda behind the hostilities could not be ruled out.

He said that there is a unanimity of views between Qatar and Syria on the issue of Israeli aggression in Lebanon and that Israel should immediately declare an unconditional ceasefire and pull back troops from southern Lebanon.

Asked if the diplomatic initiative launched by France and Iran to bring an end to the crisis was likely to bear some fruit, Al Muallam reiterated his call for an unconditional ceasefire and withdrawal of the Israeli army.

Lebanese people who have been displaced after the Israeli attack should be allowed to return, he said.

Al Muallam called on the Arab world and the rest of the global community to join in efforts to help rebuild Lebanon.

Describing his talks with the Emir, H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, as highly fruitful, he said the meeting was of immense significance as Qatar is a member of the United National Security Council (SC) and represents the Arab world in the apex UN panel.

�I am extremely exulted with the meeting�Qatar and Syria have similar views on the issue (of Israeli aggression)�There is the need to back Lebanon's determination to resist the Israeli aggression," said Al Muallam.

He said an international committee should be set up to probe the Qana and other massacres committed by Israel in Lebanon. They are war crimes, he said.

Responding to a question on how close Syria thinks it is to a war with Israel, especially since an Israeli patrol has recently exploded in the Golan Heights, Al Muallam said there are indications that calls for national resistance are building up in his country and voices for liberating the occupied territories in Golan Heights are becoming highly pronounced.

The Syrian foreign minister left Doha yesterday after a two-day visit during which he met the Emir and delivered a message from the Syrian president to him.

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