Syrian President Bashar Assad rejected on Tuesday Israel's demands to deploy the international peacekeeping force in Lebanon along the Syrian border as well.Ha. Bashar protecting Lebanese autonomy? He is protecting his smuggling profits from the Bekaa drug trade. See: Syria Has a Problem for details.
Speaking to a Dubai-based television station, he warned that such a presence would "harm Lebanon's autonomy" and would be considered an act of hostility.
The Syrian president also rejected talks with Israel over an agreed-upon border between the two States until Israel would relinquish the Shaba Farms on the Israeli-Syrian-Lebanese border.Interesting negotiating style. First give me the car, then we will negotiate the price.
Still, he noted that the possibility for peace in the Middle East was still possible, although the window of opportunity could be closed within a few weeks or months.
I guess now that the war is over Syria is claiming Shaba again. Note also that Assad is predicting a resumption of hostilities in at most months.
Update: 23 Aug '06 1715z
Assad is getting hysterical.
Syria has threatened to close its border with Lebanon if UN peacekeepers are deployed along the border, Finland's foreign minister said Wednesday.First off they don't want any troops on the border, but if they come Syria threatens to close the border. This is very strange. Perhaps as more news comes it it will make more sense. Any theories?
"They will close their borders for all traffic in case UN troops will be deployed along the Lebanon-Syria border," Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said after meeting his Syrian counterpart, Walid Moallem, in Helsinki.
Update: 23 Aug '06 1948z
Donald Sensing at Winds of Change discusses Assad's concern for the Lebanese.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006