Assad, Lula slam Israel Gaza policy 1Jul10 July 2, 2010

Press TV -  1 July 2010

Brazil and Syria have condemned Israel’s deadly attack on an aid convoy heading for the Gaza Strip, giving their full support to the formation of a Palestinian state.

On May 31, Israeli navy commandos stormed the blockade-busting Freedom Flotilla in international waters and killed nine civilians onboard the Turkish-flagged aid fleet.

“Blockades do not contribute to peace,” said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Lula on Wednesday during his meeting with visiting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

“The incident with the humanitarian fleet which was attacked in international waters showed that it’s long overdue that the blockade of Gaza is lifted,” Haaretz quoted him as saying.

The Syrian president, who was on his first-ever Latin American tour, also criticized Israel for frequently posing new hurdles in the way to a Middle East peace agreement.

Lula also backed the return of the Golan Heights to Syria, which has been occupied by Israel since after the six-day war of 1967, stressed that Damascus should be included in any peace initiative between Israel and the Palestinians.

On Sunday, Assad told the Brazilian newspaper Estado de S. Paulo that he would discuss the possibility of Brazil helping to convene Arab and Israeli leaders to talk and diffuse tensions arising from Tel Aviv’s Gaza policy.

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