Peres: Preconditions exist for talks with Syria

Vice-Premier Shimon Peres rejected Saturday night Syria's call for unconditional talks with Israel, saying that before such talks could commence certain Israeli preconditions must be met. "Damascus must stop sheltering terror leaders, and they must stop actions of the exiled Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal in Syria; these are preconditions for starting the dialogue," Peres said. In addition, Peres said that Syria must stop supplying Hizbullah with arms. "The Syrian wish that Israel will agree to the continuation of arms transfers to Hizbullah is an unacceptable precondition. It would be like us inviting the Syrian opposition leader to Israel and supplying him with missiles for attacking Damascus," Peres said.