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WAR: U.N. Envoy: Syria Ready for Israel Talks

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posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 12:47 PM
According to a source in the U.N., Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to resume stalled peace talks with Israel. The talk would have no conditions attached. The last round of talks collapsed in 2000 when Israel agreed to a withdraw from the Golan Heights, but Syria insisted on a complete withdraw from the area. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has previously refused talks until Syria kicks out militant Palestinian groups based in the country and rein in groups like Hezbollah.
DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to resume peace talks with Israel "without conditions," a top U.N. envoy said Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if Damascus dropped its demand that talks resume from the point where they broke off with Israel four years ago.

Syrian peace negotiations with Israel collapsed in 2000 when Israel offered to withdraw from most of Syria's Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that Israel captured during the 1967 Mideast War and later annexed. Syria has repeatedly said that it wants the entire Golan returned in exchange for a peace deal with Israel.

"President Assad has reiterated to me today that he has an outstretched hand to his Israeli counterparts and that he is willing to go to the table without conditions," U.N. Mideast envoy Terje Roed-Larsen told a news conference following talks with the Syrian president and his foreign minister, Farouk al-Sharaa.

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The nation of Israel would do well to secure a peace with Syria. While its peace with Jordan has not been rock solid, it has served its purpose. If this could be achieved with Syria, it would go a long way towards reducing tensions in a region that many including myself view as the potential flashpoint that could plunge the planet into a global war. Further stabilization of the area would also begin to quell the rise of militant Islam in the region. At the very least it cannot hurt.


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