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Olmert calls on Syria to shun terror

Ehud Olmert said Israel could enter peace talks with Syria if it stops sponsoring terrorism. “We want to make peace with Syria, we are happy to make peace with Syria, but Syria has not stopped supporting the path of terror and instead needs to accept the principles that the international community has set,” the Israeli prime minister said Thursday after talks in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “I have no doubt that under such conditions it will be very easy to speak with Syria.” Since last year’s Lebanon war, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime has called for peace talks with Israel, but also has said it won’t stop supporting Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups. Erdogan, whose country maintains ties with both Israel and Syria, said he was encouraged. “Frankly, during my last Syrian visit I saw a positive approach by Mr. Assad on making progress in a positive direction in relations with Israel compared to my previous visit,” Erdogan said. “In the coming weeks we will hold talks with Syria and we will try to get better results.”