Menu JTA Search

Dutch Foreign Minister in Mideast Urges Personal Rabin-assad Meeting

The Dutch foreign minister said during a visit here this week that a face-to-face meeting between the leaders of Syria and Israel would be the best way to secure a comprehensive peace.

Pieter Hendrik Kooymans made the comment after meeting first with Syrian President Hafez Assad and then with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

“I have the feeling now that the parties are running around in vicious circles,” he said Tuesday.

“One expects the other to commit itself to complete withdrawal,” Kooymans said. The other, he continued, wants to know “what is to be understood by full peace.

“I’ve tried to explain to both President Assad and Prime Minister Rabin that I feel — and in principle Prime Minister Rabin agrees with that — that some effort must be undertaken to break that vicious circle and to have a real consultation on what is going to be the content of a peace agreement,” the foreign minister said.

Kooymans conceded he had “no indication” that prospects were bright for such a direct meeting despite his “pleading” to Assad, but he insisted Syria is greatly invested in the resumption of the peace talks.

NEXT STORY