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Is Bush Afraid of Israel?

Syria foreign minister: US's decisions concerning Syria are influenced by Israel
As is known, immediately after the cessation of active operations in Iraq officials of the incumbent US Administration focused in Syria. It was supposed that Syrians might provide shelter to figures belonging to the overthrown Iraqi regime. What is more, Washington arrogated other faults to Damascus: starting from production of weapons of mass destruction to protection of terrorist organizations (the Hizbollah in particular).

Tensions were so high that it was even said that the US military might invade Syria. However, the White House declared it had no intentions of this kind; following the statement the turmoil about the US-Syrian relations gradually faded away. But to all appearances, it didn't fade away once and for all.

Russia's news agency RIA Novosti informs Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al-Sharaa said at a press-conference in Damascus that the US ignored the attempts that Damascus made to normalize relations with Washington. The Syrian foreign minister explains the fact with influence of Israel: "US's decisions concerning Syria are influenced by Israel. It is because of Israel's pressure that the US doesn't want to establish good relations with Damascus. The majority in the US Administration are afraid of Israel."

Syrian Prime Minister Mustafa Miro advanced even further. Right before his visit to Turkey, the prime minister said that "US's policy is aimed at establishment of a new order in the Middle East. This is the reason why I think that Turkey, Syria and Iran must unite. Targeting one at a time, the US will do the same with us what it did with Iraq." According to Mustafa Miro, "Americans, the current rulers of Iraq, are Syria's neighbors. They are not better than Saddam."

The Syrian prime minister said in an interview with Turkey's newspaper Sabah that the only thing Syria wanted an end of American occupation in the region. 

It is interesting that the recent harsh statements were made by the Syrian leadership right before the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Washington. But it was George W. Bush who had provoked the caustic remarks. On July 21, during the visit of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to the US the American president said that Syria and Iran still hosted and supported terrorists. He said: "The behavior is completely unacceptable." It was quite easy to predict reaction of Damascus to this statement.

Photo: Syria President Bashar al-Assad

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