Report: Israel and Syria preparing for third round of talks

Israel and Syria are preparing to hold a third round of indirect talks in Turkey, a newspaper published in one of the Persian Gulf states reported Monday. According to the report, the talks, which are to be held in the beginning of July, are expected to focus on issues that were raised in the previous round of negotiations. The report quoted diplomatic officials as saying that the Syrians are favoring additional talks out of an expectation that Israel will present views that could allow the sides to launch direct negotiations. There could be as many as two or three additional rounds of indirect talks between Jerusalem and Damascus, after which Syria would decide whether or not to embark on a direct negotiation track with Israel, the sources said, adding that the Syrian decision would hinge on whether they could be convinced that Israel had a genuine interest in pursuing the talks.