Peres pushes Israel-Syria meeting


Shimon Peres called for Israeli and Syrian leaders to meet.

The Israeli president said Thursday that recent talk of rapprochement between Jerusalem and Damascus would be best followed by a personal meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Such a meeting, Peres said during a visit by a Chinese envoy, “would symbolize mutual recognition as an opening stage” of negotiations.

Peres, who was sworn in as president Sunday, vowed to use his new role, which is largely ceremonial, to advance Israeli-Arab peace.

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