Israel, Syria resume indirect talks
Israel and Syria resumed over the weekend indirect peace talks under Turkish mediation, Israeli military radio reported on Monday.
Two close advisors to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Shalom Turjeman and Yoram Turbowitz, traveled to the Turkish capital Ankara for the latest round of the talks that began Sunday and were set to wrap up on Monday, the radio station said.
Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday publicly called upon Syria to enter into direct talks, citing the example of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, who forged a peace deal with the Jewish state.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said earlier this month that direct peace talks with Israel were unlikely before 2009, and added that they also depended on the fate of Olmert, who has been dogged by calls for his resignation over a graft scandal.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the Israeli envoys assured their Syrian counterparts the political crisis surrounding Olmert will not affect the talks.
The two countries announced last month they had resumed indirect peace talks under Turkish mediation, after an eight-year freeze.