FM Levy at the International Conference of Mayors in Jerusalem

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
April 10, 2000

"Whenever it appears that a window to Syria has opened – it takes no more than a few days, sometimes only hours, and it turns out that that the same hand which opened the window letting in sunshine and fresh air – just as quickly shut it," said Foreign Minister David Levy in an address before the 20th Annual International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem.

"We want those with whom we are in a negotiating process to see peace as a value, rather than as an obligation forced on them. We are being called to pay a heavy territorial price. If the Syrian view of peace is to dictate to us, and to demand a borderline they set by force – the Golan will remain in the hands of Israel."

"Syria is an aggressive country which lost in war and shows stubborn obstinance in the refusal of President Assad to meet with the Prime Minister. What sacrifice is there in meeting face to face? If Syria means peace – Syria must provide answers on the substantive questions: demilitarization, force reduction, normalization, water, security arrangements, and providing confidence building measures in Lebanon where Syria is in control and is providing a steady weapons supply to enemy elements attacking Israel. If Syria would do so, the situation in Lebanon would be entirely different," Minister Levy said.