For the second time in a week, official sources in Damascus were quoted as saying Thursday that talks with Israel could resume in August, reported Haaretz newspaper.
Writing for the Lebanese newspaper a-Nahar, Syrian journalist T'ana al-Amam quoted official Damascus sources expressing optimism on the chance of resuming peace talks with Israel as early as August.
According to the sources, the resumption is conditional on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak accepting that President Bashar Assad will stand firm on Syria's territorial demands, "especially on the return of Syria to the north-eastern shore of Lake Tiberius."
However, the sources added "the question of water will remain open for discussion."
The officials said recent Syrian efforts to raise the standard of living, lower unemployment and strengthen the national economy "are intended to strengthen Syrian society ahead of the external challenges created by peace."
According to the sources, in the next few months 92,000 jobs will be created in state institutions and administrations that were frozen by the previous government, said the paper.
In the past week, Syrian media have renewed calls for Israel to renew peace talks - these increased as President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Farouq Shara said Damascus is willing to resume talks "at any moment."
Last week, the Syrian newspaper al-Hayat reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would arrive in Damascus on July 25th for talks with Bashar Assad and the Syrian leadership on the possibility of renewed talks, said Haaretz.
Official sources told the newspaper that at the end of May and beginning of June, the US administration presented compromise proposals to Damascus that were good for both sides, said Haaretz - Albawaba.com
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