RAMALLAH, Feb 28 (JMCC) - Israel
would be ready to talk peace with Syria if Damascus were serious about doing so, according to Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak
, a sharp contrast from from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
's previous attitude towards peacemaking while the Middle East is in turmoil.
The Syrians are signaling, in more than one way, that they are willing to consider an accord, Barak said. I think that we have to explore every opportunity. ... If it turns out that the Syrian president really means it and is seriously exploring the possibility, with the understanding that peace is a mutual thing, then he will find us ready to talk.Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel must look beyond the risks arising from the changes sweeping the Middle East, where longtime autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt have been toppled and the 42-year dictatorship of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi is under assault from opposition forces.
Barak acknowledged that the revolts might have negative implications for Israel, because it is not clear what form of government Egyptians will choose and whether Mubarak's successor will be as committed to the three-decade-old peace treaty with the Jewish state as he was.
Read the full story at the Associated Press