Israel proposed Syria chemical plan ‘long ago’

Israel proposed Syria chemical plan ‘long ago’

Israel proposed Syria chemical plan ‘long ago’

Israeli soldiers take part in drill in occupied Golan Heights, near Syria border. REUTERS photo

Israel long ago proposed to international actors, including Russia, the confiscation of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, an Israeli official has said.

“But our offer was not accepted at that time,” said the official, who asked to remain anonymous. 

The same official also said that the offer came when many intelligence agencies were predicting that Syrian President Bashar al–Assad would be toppled within a matter of days, but Israeli Foreign Ministry’s assessment was to the contrary. “The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it saw no signs as to why it would have been so,” he said.

The same official also said Israel was not against political Islam and that the Israeli government had no role to play in the regime changes in Egypt. 

The Turkish Prime Minister recently accused Israel of being behind the military coup in Egypt.
“Our relations under the administration of Mohamed Morsi [Egypt’s toppled president] were equally good. Our embassy remained open during Morsi’s rule as well,” said the official.

Meanwhile, the same official complained about the lack of dialogue between Turkey and Israel at a time when the two countries needed to communicate with each other, particularly due to the regional turmoil. “We need to talk about the present and tomorrow, instead of yesterday,” said the official.
Relations between the two countries have been strained since the Mavi Marmara incident when Israeli defense forces killed Turkish activists on a ship bound to Gaza. The normalization of relations awaits an agreement that will include an apology and compensation from Israel, which has been on the table now for more than two years.

The trade volume continued to increase despite strains in relations, the official stressed.