Report: Israel-Syria talks set to resume

Sunday, December 06, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Saturday that Israel and Syria are set to resume peace negotiations via Turkish mediators, after Israel had publicly opposed such an arrangement following open Turkish hostility toward the Jewish state.

No reason was given for the sudden change in Israel's view, but the report indicated that Israel had agreed to resume talks where they last left off under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

It was widely believed that Olmert had made far-reaching offers to the Syrians during his tenure as prime minister, including a withdrawal from most of the Golan Heights. While in office, Olmert and his deputies repeatedly tried to convince Israelis that they could safely relinquish the strategic plateau.

At the time, Netanyahu insisted that a government under his supervision would never surrender the Golan for empty promises by the Syrians.

One of the issues that led to Netanyahu's ouster during his first term as prime minister in the late-1990s was secretive talks between his office and the Syrians, during which Netanyahu reportedly tentatively agreed to land concessions on the Golan.

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