Israeli president held contacts with Assad
Israeli President Moshe Katzav held contacts with Syrian President Bashar Assad about six months ago, Maariv reported Thursday. Katsav confirmed the report and said he had sent several messages to Assad asking the return of the remains of an Israeli spy as a humanitarian gesture to the Hebrew state. Assad has yet to respond.
Katsav's advisor Avi Granot conveyed that contacts between the two presidents took place via diplomatic channels. Katzav’s messages were passed on by a senior diplomat.
Katsav has also expressed an interest recently in meeting Assad, "if the conditions are right," an Israeli spokeswoman said.
According to Maariv, Assad responded by saying he would be happy to meet the president but only if he was an official representative of the Israeli government. Katsav's position is mainly ceremonial.