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Israeli-syrian Negotiations to Resume

February 27, 1996
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Despite this week’s terror attacks in Jerusalem and Ashkelon, Israel plans to press on with the peace process and resume negotiations with Syria.

But a day before the latest round of Israeli-Syrian negotiations was scheduled to start at the Wye Plantation in eastern Maryland, the tone emerging from Damascus was pessimistic.

In statements published Tuesday, Syrian officials accused Israel of obstinacy and predicted that there would be no breakthroughs emerging from the discussions.

Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas said Syria would never cede any of its demands, including its call for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

Israeli and Syrian delegations were scheduled to hold informal working sessions in Washington before the official opening of the discussions Wednesday, which will reportedly focus solely on military issues.

In Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Ehud Barak dismissed the reports from Syria.

“Not too much importance should be attributed to the attacks in the Syrian press against Israel,” he said. “The truly important statements are made inside the meeting rooms at Wye Plantation.”

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