Monitor: International press comment on the negotiations between Israel and Syria over the future of the Golan Heights


Syria Times

The international community has welcomed the resumption of negotiations on the Syrian track from the point they stopped at in February 1996. This world attitude also confirms the credibility of Syria's policy towards the Middle East peace process and the seriousness and honesty of her bid to realise a just and comprehensive peace solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Faith in just peace has become the strategic option of Syria since President Hafez al-Assad made it crystal clear to the whole world that there will never be peace, security and stability in the region so long as one inch of the Golan and South Lebanon remains under occupation or any legitimate right of the Palestinian people is usurped. By taking this honest attitude, President al-Assad has opened the way wide to the establishment of a just, comprehensive and durable peace. Syria has spared no effort to reach such a moment. Israel has to show its true intentions and the US has a key role to help set things on the right path leading to a real peace solution.

Jewish World Review

Though it loomed very large for a few months, it is inconceivable that Kosovo will figure at all prominently in historical evaluations of the Clinton presidency. That is why the elusive Middle East "peace process" beckons. When things are going poorly and there are no pharmaceutical plants to blow away, the United States can always lean on Israel to make concessions to its enemies. It's possible that Hafez Assad has had a true change of heart and now wants what the Israelis want - to live in peace as normal neighbours. But if he [Assad] has undergone such a change, there is not yet any evidence of it. Why the Israelis would even consider returning the Golan Heights is an open question, though in 1993 Rabin did offer to withdraw from most of the Golan if Assad would agree to full recognition and peace with Israel. Assad rejected the offer. (United States)

The New York Times

History beckons in Washington, as Israel and Syria open peace talks that could bring an end to an era of conflict in the Middle East. The Israelis and Syrians appear eager to resolve their differences quickly, and they will have the assistance of President Clinton in trying to do so. The major issues facing negotiators involve control of the Golan Heights, the restoration of peace in Lebanon and the safeguarding of Israeli security. Despite the narrow margin of approval Israel's parliament gave Mr Barak's negotiating plans on Monday, the moment is promising for a settlement with Syria and the Israeli leader should be bold in seizing it. Peace with Syria and Lebanon would mean that for the first time since its creation in 1948, Israel would no longer face armed hostility from any of its immediate neighbours.

The Jerusalem Post

The negotiations between Israel and Syria are only beginning in Washington, but the political debate here has already moved on to the aftermath of an agreement. Among the controversies surrounding a potential agreement is the unprecedented manner in which it is expected to be ratified - through a popular referendum. In this context, it is disturbing that considerable numbers of Israelis believe that an agreement should be ratified by a super-majority in order to negate the influence of the Arab vote. It should be clear that no one is suggesting that Israeli Arabs should not be allowed to vote in a referendum. It is wrong, however, to single out any one group as somehow disqualified from influencing decisions, even critical ones, that are being made democratically.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama


Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year


Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before