'Israel knows, understands Syria well'

UN special envoy for Middle East tells Syria: "There's change in Israel."

June 14, 2007 16:14
1 minute read.
jpost services and tools

jp.services2. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A UN special envoy for the Middle East said Thursday after meeting a top Syrian official that there is a "different atmosphere" in Israel toward Syria and expressed hope the two countries would resume talks. Michael Williams, UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, spoke after meeting Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa in Damascus, the Syrian capital.

  • Syria ready to discuss land for peace
  • Analysis: Making sense of all the Syrian noise Williams, who is on a tour of the Middle East after assuming his post last month, said he had "detected a different atmosphere" in Israel about prospects of peace talks with Syria. However, he did not elaborate what the change entailed. "I think Israel knows Syria and understands Syria well," Williams said. "In one sense, it seems to me that a lot of the homework has been done. I look forward to the moment when Israel and Syria can return to the negotiating table." Williams added that he wanted to visit Syria and talk to Damascus officials because "it's important to talk about peace and about the possibility, for example, which has been offered by the Arab peace initiative." The initiative, revived at an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia in March, offers Israel complete peace with Arab neighbors in exchange for relinquishing lands it seized in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israel has expressed reservations over much of the plan, including the return of Palestinian refugees, but recently said it would offer a counterproposal of its own. Williams said he and his Syrian host also discussed the situation in Lebanon, where a powerful car bombing Wednesday killed a prominent anti-Syrian legislator, Walid Eido, and nine other people. Many in Lebanon's Western-backed government blamed Syria for the bombing. Syria controlled Lebanon until after last year's assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, when Damascus caved in to international pressure and pulled its troops out. "I did discuss with the vice president the situation in Lebanon, and I was very pleased to know that the Syrian government issued a very strong condemnation of the tragic assassination which took place in Beirut yesterday," Williams said.

    Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

  • Related Content

    Jisr az-Zarq
    April 3, 2014
    Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town


    Cookie Settings