More indirect Israeli-Syrian talks set

Israeli and Syrian peace envoys will hold two rounds of indirect negotiations next month, their Turkish hosts said.

After two aides to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wrapped up a second mediated meeting with Syrian counterparts in Turkey this week, Ankara voiced satisfaction at the progress and said follow-ups had been
scheduled.

“Yesterday and the day before the negotiations went very successfully and more importantly the calendar was set for the next two meetings, which will be held in July,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told
reporters.

“I do not wish to elevate expectations because this is a very complicated matter, although compared to the Israeli-Palestinian issue it is not as complicated,” he said.

Jerusalem officials have voiced hope that the talks, launched last month, could soon be upgraded into
face-to-face meetings between Israelis and Syrians.

But Damascus has made clear it first wants concrete Israeli commitments on returning the Golan Heights under any future peace accord.

NEXT STORY