|Assad hardens his stance after Sarkozy's visit|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 05 September 2008 06:15|
A couple of days ago I commented on the fact that although the territory of the Golan Heights is at the centre of the peace negotiations between Israel and Syria, neither side is interested in who actually controls the territory at the end of the day. I said it was more a case of who is on who's side. Israel is seeking peace with Syria in order to drive a wedge between them and Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas. Syria is seeking peace only for the security of its own regime, and for expanding its own sphere of influence in the region. And it seems those remarks have been confirmed today, both by President Bashar Assad and by Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. Israeli politicians are now mourning French President Nicholas Sarkozy's trip to Damascus, for although the prospects of peace between the two nations are now closer than ever, Syria is back in the political game while still holding all of its cards. Assad now knows the West needs Syria for their goal of establishing Middle East peace, because of its close relations to Iran and its influence in south Lebanon. Thus the issue of who actually controls the Golan Heights is insignificant in itself. Syria knows if it makes peace with Israel, it will be required to sever its ties with Hizbullah and Iran. And once Syria does that, its influence in over the Middle East through Iran and south Lebanon will crumble. It is actually in Syria's interests that Israel holds on to the Golan Heights, because as long as they do that, Syria will have an excuse to exert its influence over the region. And that may be what is behind Assad's latest comments on the Middle East peace process.
Quote: "In an interview with Al-Manar, Hizbullah's official news network, the Syrian president was asked whether his country would consider relinquishing relations with the "resistance" in Lebanon and Palestine. "This issue has not come up," he answered. "I believe this issue is very clear to many countries. We are not a country that bestows gifts, we are a country that discusses interests. We tell other countries this, and ask them to present us with their interests, in order to see where the two coincide." He added, "We don't see any interest in abandoning the resistance. Our position has always been clear. Our position toward the resistance against any occupation in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine is firm and has not changed. I don't believe it will change until the occupation changes."
And regarding President Bashar Assad's interests, Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt had this to say...
Quote: "According to Jumblatt, Assad "only wants to enhance ties with the US at the expense of Syria's special relationship with Qatar and Turkey. He is not seeking an agreement on the Golan, but a far more extensive deal." Al-Sharq al-Awsat has recently reported that Syria does not intend to significantly soften its position vis-à-vis the peace negotiations with Israel. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told the daily that a return to the June 4, 1967 borders was a prerequisite and was not even up for negotiation.
If all Syria and Israel were interested in was the land, peace would have been made between these two nations long ago. But Israel is seeking an end to Syria's support for terrorism, and Syria is seeking a way to retain its influence over the Middle East. Until their interests coincide, peace will not be found. The same thing can be said for the Saviour and the sinner. The Bible declares that it is in God's interests that none should perish, but all should come to repentance (2nd Peter 3:9). But until your interests coincide with God's interests, there is no hope that you should be saved. You need to agree with God. First you need to agree that you are a sinner. The Bible says all have sinned and come short of God's righteous standard (Romans 3:23), and if we die in our sins, where He is we cannot come (John 8:21). Second, you need to come to that place of repentance for your sins. The Bible says God is near those who are of broken heart, and saves those who have a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18). And thirdly, we need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation (John 3:16). Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me", John 14:6. Trust in Jesus Christ for salvation today.