Syria finally admits to efforts on Israeli peace talks

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Syria finally admits to efforts on Israeli peace talks Empty Syria finally admits to efforts on Israeli peace talks

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:13 pm

Mediators are working to relaunch peace talks between Syria and Israel, President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday.

are efforts being made in this direction and they are not new. The
Israeli side knows full well what Syria would or would not accept,"
Assad was quoted as telling a meeting of the ruling Baath Party's

did not identify the mediators but diplomats in the Syrian capital said
Turkey had been relaying messages between Damascus and Israel.

between the two countries collapsed in 2000 over the scope of a
proposed Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, seized by Israel in

attempts to persuade Syria and Israel to resume talks foundered with
the two sides attaching conditions to a return to the negotiating table.

wants Israel to commit to a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights and
prefers the United States, Israel's chief ally, to oversee the talks.
Israel wants Syria's ties with Lebanon's Hezbollah and the Palestinian
Islamist group Hamas to be on the agenda.

himself as a champion of Arab rights, Assad said Syria would remain "a
country of resistance and opposition" to what Damascus regards as
aggressive U.S. and Israeli policies in the Middle East.

"The more steadfast we are the more fierce the campaigns against us become," he said, according to the state news agency.

Israeli minister said last month that the Jewish state was trying to
revive peace talks with Syria and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
hinted at behind-the-scenes talks.

rejects secret talks with Israel. Anything we do in this regard will be
in front of Syrian public opinion. The standard for accepting
negotiations is their seriousness and conformity to United Nations
resolutions," Assad said.

2006, Swiss diplomats helped mediate in unofficial talks between the
Israelis and Syrians and drew up a plan focusing on an Israeli
withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

Golan front has been quiet since a 1974 ceasefire following an
unsuccessful war launched by Syria, but Syria has backed Arab guerrilla
forces operating against the Jewish state, including Hezbollah, which
fought a war with Israel in 2006.

between Syria and Israel has risen since, although Syria took part in
last year's Annapolis peace conference, which focused on reviving talks
between Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

reiterated at the meeting its offer to Israel of normal relations in
return for the whole of the Golan, two months after Israel launched a
raid on a Syrian military facility that prompted no retaliation from

Syria finally admits to efforts on Israeli peace talks F_signiturepim_d6e4c88

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