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Peres: Talks with Syria Yield Agreements on Ties, Economy

Prime Minister Shimon Peres said this week that Israeli and Syrian negotiators meeting in Maryland had reached agreements in the areas of normalization of ties and economic issues.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday accompanying him on a trip to England, Peres also said talks on security arrangements were on the right tract, but that no agreement had been reached in that area.

Also Wednesday, the delegations wrapped up their latest round of talks at the Wye Plantation in eastern Maryland.

Next week, Secretary of State Warren Christopher will head to Jerusalem and Damascus to continue efforts toward an Israel-Syrian peace.

U.S. officials lowered expectations that Christopher’s shuttle would produce a peace accord.

But State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said the United States would press ahead in trying to reach an accord, even if Israel decides to hold early national elections.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, in an address at Bar-Ilan University, said no breakthrough should be quick-fix solutions.”

Meanwhile, in Paris, Yossi Beillin, minister without portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office, said time was running out for a peace deal.

He said it was important for an accord to be reached in 1996 because of the elections in Israel and the United States.

“I think that what we have in front of us is several weeks, or perhaps very few months, and then we have to move,” Beilin said.

He blamed the lack of progress in the talks on Syrian opposition to compromises on the major issues of security arrangements, water and borders.

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