Olmert's envoys in Turkey for new Syria talks

Turkish officials have said the long-time foes will decide during the fourth round whether to move to direct talks starting in August.

Olmert's envoys in Turkey for new Syria talks
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dispatched two top aides to Turkey on Tuesday for a fourth round of indirect peace talks with Syria, an Israeli official said.

Israel and Syria launched Turkish-mediated talks in May but have not yet agreed to hold face-to-face negotiations. Turkish officials have said the long-time foes will decide during the fourth round whether to move to direct talks starting in August.

The Israeli official, who asked not to be named, named the aides as Yoram Turbowicz and Shalom Turjeman. They have been leading Israel's first talks with Syria in eight years.

Negotiations centre on the fate of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. Damascus demands the return of all the Golan.

Israel, in turn, wants Syria to scale back ties with the Jewish state's main foes -- Iran, Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah. Syria has so far refused to do so.

AA
Last Mod: 29 Temmuz 2008, 11:11
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