BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – Syrian President Bashar Assad has confirmed in a newspaper interview Turkish mediation with Israel but suggests there will be no direct negotiations with the Jewish state until a new U.S. administration takes office.
Assad’s comments provide the first details of Turkish mediation. Syria says the mediation has yielded an Israeli offer for a withdrawal from the Golan Heights in return for a peace treaty with Damascus. Israel has declined to comment on the reported offer.
Assad is quoted in Thursday’s Al-Watan newspaper of Qatar as saying he will discuss details with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he visits Damascus on Saturday. Excerpts of his comments are being carried on Arab TV stations.