Photo: Flash90, Reuters

Israel-Syria talks on the horizon?

Damascus is reportedly seeking to establish direct negotiations with Jerusalem.

According to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat Arabic language news publication, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been signaling interest in reviving negotiations with Israel to his nation’s patron Russia, in an apparent effort to bolster his international standing with Europe and particularly the U.S.

Despite Assad’s reported pursuit of global legitimacy, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Moualem used his address to the UN General Assembly to condemn Europe and the United States for imposing sanctions on his nation’s leader and regime for alleged war crimes committed against the Syrian population.

“Political agendas continue to take precedence over humanitarian agendas. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the world, unilateral coercive measures imposed on the Syrian people and other peoples are being renewed instead of lifted,” he charged, adding, “New measures such as the so-called ‘Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act’ are being added under false pretexts. The ‘Caesar Syria Civilians Suffocation Act’ would have been a more fitting name.”

Deputy Premier Moualem also condemned Washington and Ankara for ongoing military intervention in his country, saying, “The continued illegitimate presence of American and Turkish forces on Syrian soil meets all the legal conditions of an occupation.”

“The Syrian Arab Republic will spare no effort to end this occupation by all means possible under international law,” vowed Moualem.