Syria rejects Israeli peace terms

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Syria on Tuesday signaled that it was ready to engage in peace negotiations with Israel, but rejected Jerusalem's condition that it first cut ties with Iran, Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist organizations.

“Syria is prepared to renew talks based upon the land for peace principle, without preconditions, to bring about stability and security in the region,” Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Arnous told reporters after meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni in Damascus.

Israel's leading newspapers reported last week that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had offered, via back channels, to surrender the entire Golan Heights in return for Syria ending its relationships with the Jewish state's most virulent enemies.

Arnous said that Syria remains committed to regaining the Golan Heights, but insisted that Damascus would not bow to Israel's demands.

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