Report: Mideast summit with a focus on Syria to take place in 2008

At the beginning of 2008 there will be another international conference similar to the one which will take place in Annapolis in the coming weeks, except with a focus on Syria and Israel, the Saudi newspaper Al Watan reported on Saturday. The report also quotes Palestinian sources as saying that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas convinced US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of the importance of Syrian participation in the upcoming Mideast summit, and that she in turn convinced Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The report went on to say that on Friday Abbas sent an envoy to Damascus to discuss the developments. However, Israel Radio reported that Syrian officials insisted that they would only participate in the Annapolis conference if the issue of the Golan Heights was to be discussed. They added that they would not object to the Palestinian participation in the conference.