Middle East News
Syrian president to relay message to Iran from Sarkozy
Jul 15, 2008, 17:44 GMT
Amman- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Tuesday he has been asked by French President Nicholas Sarkozy to relay a message from Europe to Iran over its nuclear programme.
Assad told the Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel that he would relay the message to help dissipate the West's fears regarding the Iranian nuclear issue.
The Syrian president, who was interviewed in Paris where he attended the Euromed union summit, said the message included a group of 'principles' which sought to determine if Iran was working 'outside the relevant international agreements.'
Assad said Syria would not judge the intentions of Iran because 'intentions of states cannot be judged and it is up to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to decide this.'
Some Western nations fear that the Iranian nuclear programme is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
The Syrian president said the approach adopted with him by Sarkozy and other European leaders 'does not seek to alienate Syria from Iran, but rather how can Syria help in this respect.'
Assad ruled out direct negotiations with Israel at this juncture and insisted that Israel should quit the 'entirety of the Golan Heights' which it seized in the 1967 Six-Day War if Damascus is to establish 'ordinary ties' with the Jewish state.
He said the ongoing Turkey-brokered indirect negotiations between Syria and Israel had the aim of establishing a 'sound base for direct negotiations, because barring this any direct negotiations will collapse.'