France not expecting Syrian-Israeli summit in Paris
France on Wednesday poured cold water on plans for a historic meeting between Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert next month in Paris. President Nicolas Sarkozy has invited Assad for a Mediterranean summit on July 13, sparking speculation that the Syrian leader could meet with Olmert on the sidelines of the gathering.
But an Elysee official told AFP "indirect negotiations between Syria and Israel through Turkey have not matured enough for a direct meeting in Paris between Ehud Olmert and Bashar al-Assad to be held."Last month, Israel and Syria launched indirect peace talks, with Turkey serving as a mediator, after an eight-year freeze.