Moscow welcomed Friday reported comments by Syria's president-elect, Bashar Assad, that his country was willing to resume peace talks with Israel "at any moment" in exchange for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, the Interfax agency said.
Bashar told UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at a meeting in Damascus Friday that Syria "is ready at any moment, so long as Israel is ready, to restart peace negotiations," according to Syrian foreign minister Farouq Shara.
Russia "regards this declaration as an important signal which confirms Syria's strategic choice in favor of peace" in the region, said Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for the Middle East, Vasily Sredin.
Moscow is a co-sponsor, with the United States, of the Middle East peace process.
Israeli-Syrian peace talks resumed briefly late last year after having been suspended for four years, but they soon stalled anew due to disagreement over the Golan Heights - MOSCOW (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)