The Jordan Times
June 3, 2008 - 5:14pm

Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Monday that indirect peace talks with Israel would eventually need “international sponsorship” from the United States.

“The success of these negotiations is dependent on Israeli intentions and political changes in the world,” he was quoted as saying by the United Arab Emirates’ official WAM news agency while on a visit to Abu Dhabi.

“During later stages, the negotiations will need international sponsorship, particularly that of the United States in their role as a superpower with strong and special relations with Israel.” He said the current Turkish-brokered indirect talks were at a “preliminary stage”. Israel and Syria confirmed last month that they had resumed peace negotiations after an eight-year break. Israel said that they began through Turkish go-betweens in February 2007.

The last round of peace talks broke down in 2000 over the fate of the Golan Heights, the strategic plateau which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed in 1981 in a move not recognised by the international community.

Those talks were hosted by the United States.

Assad was in Abu Dhabi on a two-nation tour that will also take him to Kuwait on Tuesday.


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