Syrian DM Tells Troops to Prepare for 'Dangers Ahead'
YNet News (Link) - Roee Nahmias (August 31, 2009)
Syrian Defense Minister Ali Habib called on his troops to increase their training "for the challenges and dangers ahead."
Speaking at a ceremony marking the 61st anniversary of the establishment of the Syrian Navy, Habib said that "the Zionist movement is taking unprecedented racist steps and is a source for concern worldwide," adding that Syria was at one of its most sensitive times ever.
Meanwhile European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana conveyed the message to Israeli President Shimon Peres that he got the impression that Syrian President Bashar Assad is interested in renewing peace talks with Israel.
Solana, who is in Israel after meeting with Assad in Damascus, met with Peres at his residence in Jerusalem and told him he believes Assad is interested in resuming talks.
Peres told Solana in his meeting, "If Assad is interested in peace with Israel, he must take the route of direct negotiations, without preconditions."
In reference to Hezbollah, Peres said that it is "Syria's reservist army that acts as a terrorist organization in all manners in Syria's service. Assad needs to make a decision whether he wants peace or continued conflict. I think peace with Syria should be attempted, but there is not need to make use of mediators."
He added that it must be remembered that Israel is in the Golan Heights because it was attacked and has a right to ensure that it will not be attacked again.