Bashar Assad announced that a fifth round of indirect peace negotiations with Israel has been postponed.
The Syrian president on Thursday told French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is on a diplomatic visit to Damascus, that the talks scheduled to be held next week were postponed due to the resignation of Yoram Turbowicz, a top diplomatic aide to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and a senior negotiator in the talks.
Al-Arabiya television also quoted Assad as saying that the Turkey-mediated talks were being postponed because of the diplomatic situation in Israel.
Assad is seeking assurances that when a new government in Israel is formed, it will be committed to making peace with Syria and not backtrack on offers to turn over the Golan Heights.
The newest round of indirect talks was scheduled to focus on a potential border between Israel and the Golan, and on how to turn the talks into direct negotiations.