Alon Liel, a former director general of the foreign ministry, told the British newspaper that Syrian President Bashar Assad is increasingly open to a peace deal with Israel which would greatly weaken Iran's influence in the Middle East.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Liel, who has been engaged in low-key "second track" discussions with Syrian representatives for many months, has said the prospect of an agreement with Syria was growing, though a new U.S. president might be necessary before a deal could be finalized.
The official's comments came after Syria held a third round of indirect negotiations with Israel in Turkey this week.
A Turkish government source said Thursday that both sides had agreed to hold a fourth round of indirect negotiations in Turkey in late July.
"They are asking not only for the Golan Heights but a change in Washington that will break the Syrian isolation internationally," Liel told the Sunday Telegraph.
"But I also think they will not do it unless they are assured they have an alternative to Iran."
Last Mod: 06 Temmuz 2008, 16:16