Syria, Palestine Lightly Take Negotiations with Israel: American Jewish Committee’s Head (video)

Politics Materials 15 August 2008 11:48 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 15 August / Trend corr. U.Sadikhova/ The obstacles to Palestine-Israel armistice will be overcome, should the Arab side take the issue more seriously, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee David Harris said.

" Palestine headed by Mahmoud Abbas does not take the armistice seriously, while Israel is doing its utmost to settle the conflict as soon as possible," David Harris said to Trend on 14 August during his visit to Azerbaijan.

Harris arrived in Baku on 13 August on the invitation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. During his two-day visit he will meet with country's Prime Minister Artur Rasizade and other officials.

As for the Palestine-Israel conflict, Harris said it would be difficult for Israel to sign an armistice until the Palestinian administration has settled its domestic problems, such as weakness and fragmentation of the authorities.

"Palestinian government is too weak to govern the country. The Gaza Strip is controlled by HAMAS, which refused to negotiate with Israel," said Harris.

Harris commented on the negotiations between Israel and Syria. "Both sides will be able to switch to direct negotiations, should the Syrian government agree."

"Syrian government is not striving to overcome the problems impeding the negotiations with Israel. The relations between Syria and Iran, as well as Damascus's support to Hezbollah and HAMAS, which do not recognize the Israeli state, testify for that," said Harris, adding that Israel hopes the negotiations with Arab countries will result in an armistice.

"Peace agreement is the only way out of the prolonged situation. Certainly, the armistice will not be signed in near future, but Israel will be striving for it," said Harris.

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