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  • » 04/23/2008, 00.00

    SYRIA – ISRAEL

    Lively reactions in Jerusalem about reports that a Golan Heights-Peace deal is in the works



    A Syrian news agency releases report today about Olmert’s offer. In the Knesset some lawmakers want a referendum to decide the issue fearful that the loss of the Heights “will pump Hezbollah forces into region.”

    Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – “Independent” Syrian news agency Cham-Press has reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has offered to exchange the Golan Heights for peace and this is raising a hornet’s nest in Israel.

    According to the Syrian source, the message was passed on through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is mediating between the two historical rivals.

    Olmert’s office responded to the news report only by stating that “Assad is familiar with Israel's position regarding peace talks and visa versa," implicitly confirming it.

    For some there were rumours about secret negotiations between the two countries. Assad wants back the strategic but also water-rich Heights lost in the 1967 war.

    In Israel news about Olmert’s offer has led to lively reactions.

    MK David Tal, head of the Knesset House Committee, said he intends to accelerate the passage of a bill subjecting any withdrawal from the Golan to a national referendum

    “Evacuating the Golan Heights will pump Hezbollah forces into region,” Tal said.

    Former Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and MK Arieh Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party both expressed concern about the impact of withdrawal on the country’s security.

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    See also

    06/08/2008 SYRIA - TURKEY
    Peace with Israel, Iranian nuclear program addressed in meeting between Assad and Erdogan
    The visit indicates the increasing diplomatic impact of Ankara, where Ahmadinejad will arrive next week. For Damascus, it is a chance to focus on indirect talks with Jerusalem, and possibly an attempt to pressure Washington.

    01/07/2008 ISRAEL – SYRIA
    New round of indirect talks today between Israel and Syria
    Talks are taking in place in Turkey with the host country playing the role of mediator. Damascus wants US involvement but might have to wait for George Bush to leave office. In Israel the idea of holding a referendum on land return is gaining ground.

    31/05/2013 SYRIA-ISRAEL
    Assad threatens Israel over future air raids and attacks on Golan Heights
    In an interview with Hezbollah TV, the Syrian President ensures that Russia "is honoring contracts" providing S-300 missiles to Damascus. Israel fears that the sophisticated weapons will be taken by Hezbollah. The UN prepares an international conference, but Assad and the opposition National Coalition place obstacles in its path. Archbishop Tomasi: The Syrian people are paying a very high price with their blood.

    24/04/2008 ISRAEL - SYRIA
    Assad confirms Israeli proposal: peace in exchange for the Golan Heights
    But the Jewish state also wants to end support for Hamas and Hezbollah. The role of the Turkish prime minister, who will travel to Syria on Saturday, is confirmed. The news comes in conjunction with a congressional hearing with U.S. intelligence officials on "nuclear" relations between Damascus and North Korea.

    02/09/2008 MIDDLE EAST
    In Damascus, surprise four-party summit on Middle East
    French president Nicolas Sarkozy arrives in the Syrian capital tomorrow. It has been announced that the following day, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, will arrive.



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