Report: Assad says ready to resume direct peace contacts with Israel
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is ready to resume peace talks with Israel that broke down in 2000, according to an Israeli newspaper report on Thursday. The Tel Aviv-based Maariv daily quoted Assad as telling UN Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen earlier this month "We are intrested in (peace) negotiations with Israel, bilateral talks...with US brokerage."
Assad added Damascus was also ready to discuss the release of kidnapped and missing Israelis in a prisoner exchange, Ma'ariv added. Of the missing Israelis, the Syrian leader was quoted as saying: "Some are dead, some are alive. We know where they are and demand the release of prisoners held in Israel in exchange for them, including at least two Syrian citizens." (Albawaba.com)
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