Syria rejects Israeli conditions to renew peace talks
Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq a-Shara rejected on Thursday Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's proposal to renew peace talks due to his imposition of preconditions on Damascus.
Sharon said Thursday he was ready to meet Syrian President Bashar Assad, but that formal peace negotiations remain impossible as long as Syria gives shelter to armed Palestinian groups.
In a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Hani Mulki, a-Shara said in previous meetings Syria "indicated the resumption of negotiations must come without any preconditions and I now see that the Israeli prime minister has set conditions. This is not acceptable."
Sharon said earlier that Assad must crack down on Palestinian groups in order to resume talks. "Would I be willing to meet Assad? Under certain conditions, yes," Sharon said, according to Haaretz. "I wouldn't recommend that Israel open negotiations with the Syrians when all the terror groups are operating there."