|Israel and Egypt discuss Golan withdrawal|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 27 December 2007 05:00|
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has presented Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak with a full plan for an Israeli disengagement from the Golan Heights, according to the United Arab Emirates newspaper Al-Bayan. The proposal was discussed during a meeting between the two leaders in Egypt yesterday. Egypt and Israel have been seeking to break up the Syrian-Iranian alliance, which is presently threatening to destabilize the Middle East. In order to accomplish this, Israel would be required to relinquish control of the Golan Heights, which were captured during the Six Day War.
Quote: "Israel would gradually withdraw its forces, destroy its vibrant communities and expel its Jewish residents from the area over a period of 10 to 15 years, according to the plan. The withdrawal and expulsion would be followed by deployment of Egyptian, Russian and U.S. troops in the area. Mubarak also suggested that Egypt mediate between Israel and Syria in order to bring both back to the table.
Israel has been seeking for the resumption of peace negotiations with Syria, which had broken off following the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War. In return for a withdrawal from the strategic territory, Israel has been asking Syrian President Bashar Assad to end its support for terrorist organizations operating in the region. Secret negotiations between Israel and Syria have been going on for some time, mediated through the European Union. It is reported that the parties have reached an agreement on the future of the Golan Heights, but the leaders of the two nations have so far been unwilling to admit publicly that any such agreement exists. As we can see Russia will continue to play a big part in the Middle East conflict. Russia is a major arms exporter to the Arab nations, and just this week agreed to ship advanced S300 anti-aircraft systems to Iran, to help defend the country's nuclear installations. With Russian troops soon to be operating on Israel's northern border, the prospect of a future Russian-Arab invasion of Israel draws ever closer.