Damascus, Asharq Al-Awsat- Moving to direct Syrian-Israeli negotiations depends on the agreement on the line of withdrawal from the Syrian occupied territories. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said yesterday at the quadripartite summit that the indirect negotiations were discussing a six-point “document of principles” to be the basis for the negotiations on the line of withdrawal from the occupied territories, which is the 4 June line, and these were entrusted to the Turkish side until the Israeli response is received.
While Asharq Al-Awsat was unable to obtain detailed information about the six points set out in the (document of principles), Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem told Asharq Al-Awsat that the 4 June 1967 line “is not the subject of direct negotiations” but the “basis for starting the direct negotiations.” He underlined Syria’s commitment to this line and said the fifth round of indirect negotiations would be “fundamental and important” and “this issue will be decided.”
In reply to a question about the possible postponement of the fifth round or not deciding this issue, Al-Muallem said Syria was ready to continue with the indirect negotiations and stressed that “Syria is patient.”
On their part, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Syria has been committed to the 4 June 1967 line as the basis for direct negotiations since the start of the peace process in Madrid and has not changed its stands while Israel is proposing to withdraw to the 1923 line which was drawn up by the British and French colonial powers and which Syria said after independence that it was inaccurate and had objections to it.