Syria is major party in Middle East peace, says military officer.

Bishar Al Asad & AhmediNajaad 

Halkaan ka akhri

Damascus (dpa) – Chief of staff of Syria’s armed forces Wednesday called on those interested in peace in the Middle East ‘not to forget that Syria is a principal and effective party’ in achieving that goal.

Syria’s official news agency SANA quoted General Ali Habib as saying during a ceremony inaugurating a group of female officers that ‘all stakes adopted by enemies of the region failed to isolate Syria or lessen its effective role.’

US president George Bush has called for an international conference to be held next month to deal with the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said that Syria is invited to the conference as a member of an Arab League committee charged with following up on a 2002 peace offer.

However, Syria has said it won’t attend the conference unless it takes up the issue of its occupied territories.

Those who ‘drawl about peace ought not to forget that Syria is principal and active’ in making peace in the Middle East and works ‘to end occupation and return the Golan Heights(occupied by Israel) under Syrian sovereignty,’ Habib added.

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