Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Netanyahu will focus first on PA, not Syria

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Mar. 10, 2009, by Herb Keinon:

Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu has no intention of sidelining the Palestinian track in favor of a Syrian one, Dore Gold, one of Netanyahu's top foreign policy advisers, said Monday.

...Gold ... said he believed "Netanyahu has made it clear that presently he would like to focus on the Palestinian track."

He added that those who "suggest that he will begin by working on the negotiations with Syria are basing themselves on an inaccurate reading of Netanyahu's diplomacy in 1998, during his contacts with Damascus." According to Gold, "there is an unfounded mythology that has gained some currency" that Netanyahu was willing to withdraw fully from the Golan Heights in 1998. "It is not true," he said.

...Gold said that while contact with Arab countries was positive, it was necessary to see what the Syrian policy was, whether it could change, and whether Damascus would continue to support terrorist organizations. The new government, he said, would conduct a policy review and determine a position.

He said, however, that there seemed to be more opportunity on the Palestinian track at this point...
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