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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel and Syria said on Wednesday they had begun indirect peace talks mediated by Turkey, the first confirmation of negotiations between the long-time enemies in eight years.
In coordinated statements, Israel and Syria said they had begun an open dialogue with the aim of a comprehensive peace. Turkey said delegations of both countries, officially at war since Israel's creation 60 years ago, were already in Istanbul.
The United States said it did "not object" but repeated its
criticism of Syria's "support of terrorism" -- a reminder for many analysts that U.S. hostility to Damascus, and to its Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies, makes a Syria-Israel deal unlikely before President George W. Bush steps down in January.