Olmert envoy meets with Syrian official

PMO denies that meeting intended to pass secret messages to Syria.

olmert 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
olmert 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
A representative of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, US millionaire Daniel Abraham, met with Syrian Ambassador to the US Imad Moustapha on Wednesday and received "positive and moderate" messages from him, Channel 10 reported. The two met several weeks earlier in the Washington, D.C. area. Following the meeting, Abraham met with Olmert in Israel. The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "I do not remember every detail from the meeting. I do not recall that he [Abraham] said that he got messages from the Syrians. I think I would remember that." Olmert's office did not deny the report, but claimed that "this was not a secret mission to pass messages to the Syrians." The report came after a week of turmoil in the Israeli government regarding the significance of peace overtures made by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem. Moallem said in an interview to the Washington Post on Sunday that Syria was willing to return to the negotiation table "without preconditions," specifying that negotiations could begin without Syria demanding the return of the Golan Heights as an a priori condition to any peace proposal.