Olmert wants Syrians at Annapolis


Ehud Olmert voiced hope that Syria will attend the Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in Annapolis, Md.

The Israeli prime minister said Tuesday that while the main aim of the U.S.-hosted event will be to discuss Palestinian statehood, it also could have a wider impact on Middle East diplomacy.

“I hope that Syria and other Arab countries will take part,” Olmert told reporters.

“I very much hope that, should the process between the Palestinians and us succeed, it will spur a similar process between the Syrians and us in the future,” he said. “The Americans are the ones extending invitations and I suppose that they will invite them, as well as many other countries.”

Syria has balked at coming to Annapolis given Israel’s rejection of the return of the Golan Heights as a precondition for peace talks.

The United States has yet to issue details on the Annapolis conference.

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