Bashar Assad seems lost, looking for a kind of “Big Brothers, Big Sisters” program to pair him with a mentor in the Islamic world. For a while, it was Iran. At the moment, it’s
Lionel Richie Muammar Qaddafi. “Assad, Ghaddafi to PA: Quit talks, embrace resistance,” from the Associated Press, March 28:
SIRTE, Libya — Syria and Libya teamed up Sunday to pressure the Palestinian leader to quit peace talks with Israel and return to violence, delegates to an Arab leadership summit said.
An adviser to the US-backed Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, quickly rejected the suggestion, calling for the 22 nations represented at the gathering in Sirte, Libya, to be “realistic.” Despite the opposition from two of Israel’s longtime foes, the summit was expected Sunday to renew backing for Palestinian peace talks with Israel.
Still, the calls to abandon the effort reflected the depth of frustration and anger over the stalled process and continued Israeli construction in areas claimed by the Palestinians, particularly eastJerusalem.
Syrian President Bashar Assad urged Abbas to withdraw from a US-supported peace plan and resume armed resistance to Israel, according to two delegates who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
They said Assad also urged Arab countries to halt any contacts with Israel, though only Egypt and Jordan have peace deals with the Jewish state.
“The price of resistance is not higher than the price of peace,” one delegate quoted Assad as telling Abbas.
Libyan leader and summit host Moammar Ghaddafi warned that his nation may withdraw support for an initiative launched at a 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut calling for an exchange of land for peace with Israel, the delegates said.
Slay you, slay me…
Senior Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rudeineh dismissed the pressure.
“Let us be realistic. We will not follow those who have special agendas,” he told Al-Jazeera television.
“We are ready for any Arab option. If they want to go to war let them declare that and mobilize their armies and their people and we will follow suit,” Abu Rudeineh said….