French President Nikolas Sarkozy is to deliver a message from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Syrian President Bashar Assad that expresses Israel's readiness to withdraw from the Golan Heights as part of a peace agreement between the two countries, Al Arabiya TV channel reported on Thursday.
Israel's bid to engage in talks with Syria is genuine, Al Arabiya quoted Netanyahu as saying. On Wednesday, Netanyahu told Sarkozy that Israel would be ready to hold immediate peace negotiations with Syria, as long as the talks were held without preconditions.
The Israeli leader made the comments in response to a question from Sarkozy, with whom he met for more than an hour and a half in Paris on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak echoed Netanyahu's words in a speech in Tel Aviv, in which he said Wednesday night that Israel "ought not make light of the signs of readiness for peace coming recently from Damascus"