ISRAEL SAYS SYRIAN REGIME CHANGE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE WORLD

 AS THEY ARE UP TO THEIR NECK IN TERROR

OCT 14 2005

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said it was in the world's interest to have a regime change in Syria, which he accused of being "up to its neck" in terror.

 

"Our interest is to tell the world that Syria is implicated up to its neck in terrorism, a terrorism that is directed not just against Israel but against coalition forces in Iraq," he told public radio on Friday.

 

"And this is why it is in the interest of the entire world that there is another state in Syria, one that is freer and more democratic," said Shalom.

 

The foreign minister's comments come amid the continuing fallout from the death on Wednesday of Syrian interior minister and former strongman in Lebanon, Ghazi Kanaan.

 

While officials in Damascus insist Kanaan committed suicidem, there has been widespread speculation that he was to become the scapegoat ahead of a UN report into February's assassination of ex Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.

 

The front page story Friday of Israel's leading Yediot Aharonot daily quoted US officials as saying Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime was near collapse in the countdown to the publication of the UN report.

 

Asked whether he believed that the end was nigh for Assad's regime, Shalom said that only time would tell.

 

"The future will tell us if this regime is close to the end or not. But there is no doubt that Assad has achieved something amazing: uniting the whole world against Syria," said Israel's top diplomat.

 

Shalom stressed that Israel would avoid becoming embroiled in the political turmoil of its northern neighbour.

 

"Israel has no intention of getting involved in what is happening over there as the entire international community is already on the case."

 

Syria and Israel are officially still at war, with peace talks over the fate of the Golan Heights captured by Israel in 1967 and then annexed in 1981 frozen for the past five years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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