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Israel says It Is Holding Peace Talks with Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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JERUSALEM, (AP) – Israel says it is holding indirect peace talks with Syria mediated by Turkey.

The statement from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was the first official Israeli confirmation of the contacts.

Wednesday’s statement said the sides “have declared their intent to conduct these talks in good faith and openly.” The statement says the goal is “to reach a comprehensive peace agreement.”

There have been reports in recent months of new Israeli-Syrian contacts through Turkey. Syria wants Israel to return the Golan Heights, which it captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

U.S.-mediated peace talks between the two countries broke down in 2000 because of disagreements over the extent of an Israeli withdrawal.