Syria hopes for a Middle East peace process to be launched next year and urged Israel to reopen talks on the occupied Golan Heights, Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said on Monday. "We hope to have in 2007 a peace process to settle the issue," Moualem said after meeting Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere in the Syrian capital.
According to Reuters, Moallem said Syria welcomed a debate going on in Israel about whether to resume negotiations with Damascus over the Golan Heights. "We appreciate the Israeli voices who call for the resumption of the peace process with Syria," Moallem said.
When Israel responds, "it will find Syria ready to resume peace negotiations," the foreign minister said during a press conference in Damascus.
"If the Israelis are thinking of launching a war next year this is not the way. They need to understand that using force does not solve issues," Moualem noted.