Assad, Mubarak discuss resuming peace talks with Israel
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday held talks in Sharm al Sheikh.
Before the summit, there were reports that Mubarak would offer Assad to mediate between Syria and Israel in order to resume peace talks.
On his part, Egyptian Presidential spokesman Maged Abdel Fattah on Tuesday told reporters that "Syria has said that it does not insist on the Rabin deposit and does not hang on to what was agreed in previous negotiations. Israel must follow suit."
"The Rabin deposit" is the diplomatic term for the Syrian claim that late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin promised full withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights in any final peace agreement with Syria.
However, in Damascus, Syria's official news agency quoted Assad as restating Syria's long-standing position that peace talks must resume from the point they broke off in 2000.
In addition, deputy Syrian foreign minister, Wallid Mualem, told the Al Arabiyah television station that Damascus is not willing to give up anything achieved in previous talks.
Assad told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the meeting that restarting the peace process "will be through building on what had already been achieved and completed in order to reach a just and comprehensive peace which returns full rights," SANA reported.
"A Syrian official source stressed Syria's constant position toward resuming peace negotiations [with Israel] and the need to build on what had already been achieved," SANA reported after the talks. It quoted the unnamed official as saying that Assad told Mubarak that "this position has not changed."
The official noted that this position "doesn't include any conditions to resume negotiations. Rather, it stresses the goal which is peace and fulfilling its requirements," according to SANA.
Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu Gheit and Omar Suleiman, head of Egyptian intelligence are expected to hold talks with Israeli officials on Wednesday.
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