Assad: No peace with Israel until Palestinian conflict solved

Syrian President Bashar Assad was quoted on Monday as saying that no agreement with Israel could be reached until the "issue of one and a half million Palestinians is solved." In an interview with Persian Gulf-based newspaper Al-Halij, Assad said that his country sought a "comprehensive" peace with Israel. "The aim of the indirect negotiations," he was quoted as saying, "is merely to check the pulse." Five rounds of indirect talks between Israel and Syria were mediated by Turkey last year, before they were halted when Israel began its offensive against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.