JPost Reports: In an interview with Channel 2’s Meet the Press on Saturday, Barak explained that before the violence in Syria that broke out in January 2011, there had been an Americanled initiative to cut the Assad regime’s ties with Iran.
As part of that initiative, he said, a number of exploratory suggestions were put on the table with regard to what Israel could offer Syria in return. Since taking Syria out of the radical axis of Iran and Hezbollah was a high security priority, it was important to explore the possibility, Barak said.
“That was all that happened,” he said. “There was never any real negotiations.”
The US went back and forth between Israel and Syria, but did not secure pledges from either side, he said.
They simply wanted to know if there were grounds to move forward, Barak said.
There were a number of meetings, he said. American envoys Dennis Ross and Fredrick Hoff were in Israel; Hoff came four or five times, he added.
It is good that there were these initiatives, he said, but it was also good to reject them when the conditions were not right to move forward.
“Netanyahu never, in any situation, said he was willing to withdraw from the Golan,” Barak said.