New round of Syria-Israel talks end; Ankara hopes to see progress
A new round of indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria, mediated by Turkey, are to end Thursday, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has said, stressing the importance Ankara has attached to continuation of these talks.
"The third round of talks between Israel and Syria started in Istanbul yesterday [Tuesday] and they will end tomorrow," Babacan was quoted as saying by Zaman. "We believe that this process can work out in a good way, as long as there is political will and determination by both sides. We are still at the very beginning of the affair, this will take some time," Babacan said, adding that progress in the indirect talks, in which Turkey acts as a go-between, could lay the groundwork for direct negotiations.
"We believe that continuation of these talks is important as long as there is a hope for peace. If these talks end with a positive consequence, then, it will definitely influence the climate in the Middle East, even in a larger geography, in a positive way," the minister said.
Syria and Israel declared in May that they had resumed talks after an eight-year break. Last month, Israel and Syria concluded a second round of indirect peace talks and agreed to continue negotiations over the fate of the occupied Golan Heights in July.