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Syria and Israel discuss Golan in Turkey

Latest update : 2008-07-29

Israel has sent two negotiators to take part in Turkish-mediated talks with Syria on the contentious issue of the Golan border region. This is the fourth set of such discussions since Turkey offered to facilitate contact last May.

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dispatched two top aides to Turkey on Tuesday for a fourth round of indirect peace talks with Syria, an Israeli official said.


Israel and Syria launched Turkish-mediated talks in May but have not yet agreed to hold face-to-face negotiations. Turkish officials have said the long-time foes will decide during the fourth round whether to move to direct talks starting in August.


The Israeli official, who asked not to be named, named the aides as Yoram Turbowicz and Shalom Turjeman. They have been leading Israel's first talks with Syria in eight years.


Negotiations centre on the fate of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. Damascus demands the return of all the Golan.


Israel, in turn, wants Syria to scale back ties with the Jewish state's main foes -- Iran, Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah. Syria has so far refused to do so.

Date created : 2008-07-29