Syria affirms opposition to normalization deals with Israel

Syria makes first official response to Israel's agreements with the UAE and Bahrain: No to any agreements with the Israeli enemy.

Elad Benari ,

Israel-Syria border
Israel-Syria border

Syria affirmed on Thursday that it remains staunchly opposed to any normalization agreements with Israel, i24NEWS reports.

A source in the Syrian Foreign Ministry was quoted as having told the official SANA news agency that Syria "was and will remain against any agreements or treaties with the Israeli enemy based on its firm conviction that such agreements harm Arab causes in general, foremost among which is the Palestinian cause, which has been proven by previous experiences, that normalization and signing treaties and agreements with this enemy only increased its arrogance and obstinacy."

The comments were Syria’s first official response to Israel's recently signed agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

They came hours after Lebanon announced it reached an agreement with Israel to enter United Nations-mediated talks regarding dispute over land and maritime borders.

Earlier this week, the London-based pro-Saudi Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported there is now a “widespread belief” among Arab diplomats that Syria and Israel have resumed secret negotiations, similar to the unofficial talks conducted between Bashar Al-Assad’s regime and the Ehud Olmert government in 2008.

If talks have restarted between Damascus and Jerusalem, they will have several major hurdles to surmount, including Iran’s continued military presence in Syria, which Israel has emphasized in the past it will never accept.

In addition, Syria has long refused to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and has in past negotiations demanded the surrender of the Heights as a condition for peace.