Damascus / Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat – Israeli sources have revealed that Middle East Peace Envoy George Mitchell discussed the resumption of Israeli – Syrian negotiations during his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus yesterday. Sources also indicated that he asked Syria to exert its influence on Hamas to “stop its plans to sabotage” the Israeli – Palestinian negotiations.
Whilst in Ramallah, following a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that there was no alternative to reaching a peace agreement with Israeli via negotiations, saying that the Palestinians have no choice but to continue negotiating. However he also acknowledged the difficult circumstances surrounding the negotiations, welcoming the “US efforts to reach peace during this difficult time.”
Meanwhile Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in an interview on Israeli state television, warned against allowing the issue of settlement construction to destroy this historic opportunity to resolve the Israeli – Palestinian conflict and achieve peace.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton also revealed that Washington would support Syria and Lebanon beginning talks with Israel in order to reach a “comprehensive” peace in the Middle East.