Olmert rejects Syrian demand to resume peace talks
Israel has rejected a Syrian demand that it withdraw from the Golan Heights it has occupied since 1967 before peace talks can resume between the two countries, public radio reported on Saturday. "When the Syrian president says that Israel must commit to pulling back to the lines of June 4, 1967 he is imposing a prior condition" that is unacceptable, it quoted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying on Friday.
"I cannot accept this before negotiations even begin," the radio quoted Olmert as saying during a visit to northern Israel. It said he reiterated the Israeli position that any talks with Syria must be direct, which Damascus rejects. "I want to make peace with all Arab states and I want to do so through direct negotiations, as was the case with Egypt and Jordan," Olmert said.