Mideast talks 'only to help Obama'

2010-10-02 20:15
Tehran - Syrian President Bashar Assad offered dim hopes on Saturday for any success in Middle East peace talks, saying the White House is only using its mediation between Israelis and Palestinians to score political points in the United States.

The comments by Assad - making a one-day visit to Tehran - followed talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is one of Israel's arch-foes. Both leaders pledged to support "resistance" in the region, an apparent reference to Palestinian militants and others opposing Israel.

The visit came two weeks after Ahmadinejad travelled to Syria, signalling his concern about US efforts to pry Damascus away from its alliance with Tehran.

Iran and Syria are both key sponsors of the Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian faction Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is not part of the peace talks.

Assad said the current attempt at dialogue between Israel and Palestinians have brought "no change" and claimed that President Barack Obama only seeks a political boost.

"The talks are only aimed at supporting Obama's position inside the US," Assad said in his first public comments about the process since the latest round of negotiations began last month.

The peace talks are in danger of collapse. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to keep negotiating with Israel without a slowdown in West Bank settlement construction. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes an extension to the 10-month-old moratorium on West Bank housing starts that expired a week ago.

Last week, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told the Wall Street Journal that he believed a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace would be doomed without Israel's commitment to first freezing any new construction in disputed territories.

But Syria-based radical Palestinian factions condemned the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, saying Abbas does not represent all the Palestinian people and called on him to stop the talks.

Iranian state TV quoted Ahmadinejad as saying he and Assad agreed on the need to "expand resistance" in the region. Assad also was awarded Iran's highest national medal for his support to Palestinian militants and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"Countries in the region, through multilateral cooperation, will be able to form the most powerful economic alliance ... but also in political and security fields," Ahmadinejad said.

Assad's talks in Iran also are expected to touch on the effects of international sanctions on Tehran and the political struggles in neighbouring Iraq.

Syria and Iran wield considerable influence in Iraq among different groups - Syria with Sunnis and Iran among Shi'ites. Iraq has been locked in political stalemate since March elections, but Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appears close to winning support to remain in power.

Iran and Syria have had close political and economic ties over the past decades. Assad has visited Iran eight times since 2000. Last month, Ahmadinejad made a brief stop in Damascus en route to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.
- AP
Read more on:    hezbollah  |  hamas  |  nouri al-maliki  |  bashar assad  |  mahmoud abbas  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  mahmoud ahmadinejad  |  israel  |  us  |  palestine  |  syria  |  middle east peace
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.