Syrian President, Bashar Asad, stated Thursday that Israel must choose between occupation and peace, and that Israel cannot choose to remain an occupier and at the same time acts to achieve peace.During a meeting with reporters in Damascus, Asad said that his people back the efforts for peace and back their government’s commitment to the peace process, especially the land-for-peace principle and all related UN resolutions.

He added that the peace process should resume as outlined at the Madrid Conference on 1991.

The Syrian president further stated that Syria needs a partner for peace on the Israeli side, and added that the US administration is not moving towards its stated goals of Middle East peace.

He said that action is needed, instead of headlines and statements, and that the US should start holding talks with all concerned parties, including Syria.

Asad further urged EU countries to be show more active involvement in the peace process and mediation, and added that time is not a friend to the peace process.

“The European Union must show active involvement and make up for the lost time”, Asad said, “We are ready and willing to work with the EU to make up for the lost time”.