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Saturday, August 02, 2008

An agreement with Syria, but for whom?

Maariv reported on Friday morning that an agreement between Israel and Syria is within reach and both sides have agreed to pay the price (link in Hebrew). The only 'problem' is Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert's miserable political standing.

According to the report, Assad is willing to deal because he understands his precarious position, located between Ahmadinejad (Iran) and Nasrallah (Hezbullah) and he wishes to obtain Western assistance.

According to Maariv, the agreement between Israel and Syria will have a declaration of the end of the state of war, a full peace to include diplomatic relations, exchange of ambassadors, etc., a full normalization, possibly cooperation with international forces on the Golan Heights and a security chapter.

The security chapter will include a full Israeli 'retreat' from the Golan Heights, demilitarization of the Heights, a dramatic thinning of Syrian forces between Damascus and the Golan and a less dramatic thinning of Israeli forces in the area, an early warning station on Mount Hermon and international forces to be stationed there.

Because Assad 'cannot' be prohibited from maintaining diplomatic relations with Tehran, the agreement is to provide that Syria will not cooperate in any way with any country or organization that maintains a state of hostilities with Israel. Syria allegedly told the Turks that they are aware of this demand and have agreed to it, and that Syria has already paid a price for negotiating with Israel in its relations with Iran.

Don't hold your breath waiting for this agreement to happen. First, if it happens, Olmert would bring it for approval to the cabinet, the Knesset and possibly to a referendum. Only the latter would have any real authority. Second, Shas has announced that they will oppose any agreement Olmert brings for approval in his current situation.

But most importantly - and this is not yet in any of the online reports - Israel Radio reported in its mid-day news magazine that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is scheduled to travel to Tehran next Saturday to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and to specifically show that no one can restrict Syria's relations with Iran. Ooops.

JPost has more on this story here.

Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.
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posted by Carl in Jerusalem at permanent link#

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