Report: Israel should pursue Syria talks to counteract Iranian threat

A report compiled by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's National Security council recommends Israel pursue negotiations with Syria in 2009 to counteract threats from Iran and Hamas, Reuters reported Sunday. The Reuters report quoted a senior Israeli official as saying that US President-elect Barack Obama should oversee such peace talks. "The most important actor for Israeli-Syrian peace talks speaks English, and his name is Obama. Without very positive and significant US involvement, the Syrian track, like the Palestinian track, will go nowhere," he said. The official was also quoted as saying that ceding the Golan Heights to Syria would not be "too high a price to pay" if Syria were to agree to cutting ties with Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran.