Erfat Weiss
June 20, 2008 - 3:32pm,7340,L-3558151,00.html

A Syrian source affiliated with the indirect talks between Damascus and Jerusalem says Friday that Syria was in no rush to find a solution to the Shebaa Farms sovereignty issue.

The source was quoted by the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, following reports that the US and France support the transferal of the area at the foot of Mount Dov to the United Nations' control. Later on, the area is to be divided between Syria and Lebanon.

  “How can Lebanon negotiate over Shebba Farms while it doesn’t even have documentation supporting its rights to it?” the Syrian source said over the phone.

“Does it make any sense to ask Syria to accept the border demarcation? And if Lebanon is on one said who will be on the other? Syria or Israel? If the territory is Syrian Israel must return it. The Israelis expect us to be accommodating and solve their problem, but what is in it for us?” 

 According to the source, the US proposal to hand the area over to the UN’s control “raises questions, since the US stance is unclear as far as Syria is concerned.” He added that the farm issue should be solved using the outline set at the Madrid Conference of 1991.

Following reports of Israel’s willingness to discuss the status of Shebaa Farms, Lebanese member of parliament on behalf of Hizbullah, Hassan Fadlallah said that “any Zionist withdrawal from Shebaa Farms will signify a great achievement for the resistance.”

Fadlallah reiterated before the Iranian news Agency (IRNA) that if Israel pulling out of the farms will not change Hizbullah’s policy towards it: “Returning Shebba Farms will not change the existing equation regarding Lebanon’s need of a resistance organization. It will only prove the logic behind the resistance and validate its existence as the only way of restoring land.”


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