Syrian official: Israel must return Golan Heights

Syria's new ambassador to Turkey says Israel must commit to returning the Golan Heights before Damascus resumes indirect peace negotiations with the country. However, Ambassador Nadil Kabalan told The Associated Press Thursday that recent statements by Israel's government have not been encouraging. The Israeli Embassy declined to comment. Turkey last year mediated several rounds of indirect talks between Syria and Israel, but the discussions were halted after the IDF's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Syria has since said it is willing to resume talks that focus on Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.