Assad: Chances of renewing peace talks are unclear

Syrian president says envoys from two countries trying to accommodate Syria's demands for Golan Heights return and Israel's security objectives.

assad gul 311 (photo credit: AP)
assad gul 311
(photo credit: AP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad said Thursday that the chances of renewing peace talks with Israel are unclear.
Assad told Turkey's TRT television that envoys from the two countries are trying to accommodate Syria's demands for the return of the Golan Heights and Israel's security objectives.
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"What is happening now is a search for common ground to launch the talks. For us the primary basis is the return of the whole land. For the Israelis they are talking about security arrangements," Assad said.
The Syrian president said "there is more than one movement in the region, including France and the United States ... a movement between Syria and Israel to search for ideas, but nothing has crystallized yet, and we cannot know what will happen," he said.
"Talking about a mediation (between Syria and Israel) is premature and what is going on now is search for common ground," Assad said.
Assad expresses a desire for Turkey to have a role in talks despite heightened contacts with the United States, the only power Syria considers capable of delivering a final peace deal.
"The question (now) is about negotiations. Who can succeed in managing these talks and solving the many knots that will appear and remove the big obstacles?" Assad said.