Israel, Syria to begin third round of talks

July 1st, 2008 - 8:13 am ICT by IANS  

Jerusalem, July 1 (DPA) Israel and Syria are to resume their indirect peace negotiations and two senior Israeli officials are to leave for Turkey to conduct the talks, Israel Radio reported Monday. An Israeli spokesman would not comment on the report, which said that Yoram Turbovitz, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s bureau chief, and Shalom Turjeman, a senior aide to the premier, were to depart for Turkey Monday night for a third round of talks with Syria.

Damascus will also send senior officials to the talks, and the two delegations will be headquartered in two different hotels in Istanbul, with Turkish officials shuttling between them.

The current negotiations between the sides began in May, ending an eight-ear hiatus on peace talks between the two countries. A second round of negotiations was held in mid-June.

The last concerted Israeli-Syrian attempt to reach a peace deal collapsed in January 2000, because of a dispute over the future of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel and whose return Syria insists on as a prerequisite for peace dpa jab ms

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