The major goal of the recently restored Palestinian-Israeli peace talks is to "shore up the positions of the U.S. President Barrack Obama inside the country," the Iranian ISNA news agency quoted Syrian President Bashar Assad as saying on Saturday.
Israel refused to extend the ban on settlement construction on the West Bank that expired on Monday. The move has put under threat the direct Palestinian-Israeli talks that resumed in September after a long break.
Shortly before the ban expired, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel "must choose between peace and the continuation of settlements."
Abbas is expected to convene with Arab foreign ministers on October 6 to decide whether to fulfill his threat to pull out from direct talks.
If Israel does not freeze its settlement construction activities, the Arab-Israeli peace efforts will fail, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said this week.
The Syrian president arrived in Iran with an official visit. Assad and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed a memorandum of understanding and a memorandum on expansion of economic cooperation.
Both presidents agreed on the necessity to boost up stability and security in the Middle East. Strengthening of the anti-Israeli resistance movement should help to implement these aims, Ahmadinejad said.
DAMASCUS, October 2 (RIA Novosti)