Assad: At the moment no date for resuming talks with Israel
Syria's president stated Friday that Damascus is interested in resuming indirect peace talks with Israel but does not believe the new Israeli government makes a good negotiating partner. "Syria is keen about peace as much as it is keen about the return of its occupied territories," Syrian President Bashar Assad said during a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
"When we have a specific vision and when there is a partner, then we can speak about a date to resume peace talks," Assad said, according tyo the AP.
The talks mediated by Turkey collapsed during Israel's three-week war on the Gaza Strip in December and January. Assad stressed that Turkey managed to play an importan role in the indirect peace talks, which were relatively short, adding that Turkey's role was skilled, objective and fair, making Turkey a main player in the Middle East peace process. "This is of course in the future where there is a partner… Turkey's role is indispensable. All of this gave a special dimension to relations between Syria and Turkey… a very special dimension."
On his part, the Turkish president said his country wants to help Arab states, including Syria, make peace with Israel, but the Jewish state should first accept previous agreements and commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state. "Israel must accept all agreements. Annapolis and road map," said Gul after meeting with Assad.