'Syria willing to cut Iran ties for peace with Israel'

Report: Israel and Syria have formulated a sketch for a deal and have each agreed to "pay the price."

olmert behind assad 224. (photo credit: AP)
olmert behind assad 224.
(photo credit: AP)
A peace agreement with Syria is within reach, according to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's envoys to talks with Syria, who returned from another round of indirect negotiations in Turkey and were quoted in a Ma'ariv report Friday. According to the report, the sides have already formulated a sketch of a peace deal and have told the Turkish mediators that they are willing to pay the price, which, for the Syrians, would include cutting off Iran. The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report. The sketch includes several clauses, the report said. According to the first, general, chapter, the two countries will end the state of war between them, establish a viable peace, including an exchange of ambassadors and the establishment of diplomatic relations. The second clause of the agreement delineates the terms of normalization between Jerusalem and Damascus. The third chapter will reportedly deal with security arrangements and will include a full Israeli withdrawal form the plateau and the demilitarization of the area. According to the Ma'ariv report, the chapter will also specify a drastic reduction in the magnitude of Syrian armed forces stationed between the Golan and Damascus as well as the erection of an early warning station manned by international forces on Mount Hermon. According to the report, there was no way to directly prevent Syria from having ties with Iran. The agreement could, however, forbid Damascus from providing weapons to - or harboring representatives of - nations or organizations that threaten Israel. The report quoted officials familiar with the negotiations as saying that the Syrians had expressed their awareness of Israel's demand and did not reject it. The officials also said that talks with Israel had already exacted a price from Syrian President Bashar Assad in terms of his relationship with Teheran.