Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Sunday said on it is not possible to talk about peace in the Middle East in light of the continuing Israeli "massacres" against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, the official SANA news agency reported.
Assad made the remarks while meeting with a visiting delegation from the United States Institute of Peace, the report said.
Assad called on U.S. studies and research centers to help the American people and the new U.S. administration learn more about the Middle East by listening to the people here, knowing their causes, and contributing positively and effectively to solving their problems.
Also on Sunday, Assad held a meeting with visiting Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim on the situation in Gaza, affirming the need to mobilize international support to put pressures on Israel to cease its aggression, lift the siege and open the crossing points permanently.
Amorim asserted his country's readiness to play any role that could help stop the Israeli attacks on Gaza, expressing his sympathy for the beleaguered Palestinian people.
The Israeli offensive on Gaza, which began on Dec. 27, entered its 16th day on Sunday, killing more than 900 Palestinians and wounded over 3,600 people.
(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2009)