Turkey ready for Israel-Syria mediation

Ankara says it's waiting for a nod from Damascus and Jerusalem that would allow it resume talks.

June 11, 2009 16:14
Turkey ready for Israel-Syria mediation

assad gul and wives 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

Turkey is prepared to restart mediation efforts between Israel and Syria, Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin said Thursday. However, Ozugergin told reporters, Turkey had not yet received a nod from Damascus and Jerusalem that would allow it to initiate new talks. Last year, Turkey mediated several rounds of indirect talks between Syria and Israel, but the discussions were halted after the IDF's counter-terror operation in Gaza at the end of last year. In response, Jerusalem officials said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had already made it clear that he would be happy to resume negotiations with both Syria and the Palestinians without preconditions. Syria has said it is willing to resume talks that focus on Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. But Netanyahu has said he would not be willing to cede the territory. On Tuesday, Israel Radio reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told US administration officials in Washington last week that Damascus wanted the talks to recommence from where they left off before Operation Cast Lead.

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