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Report: Talks on Golan Heights possible in Annapolis
Al-Hayat says Condoleezza Rice promised Syrian counterpart disputed region would be discussed during peace conference if representatives from Damascus attended

In a message relayed to several Palestinian groups, Syria announced that it was postponing the "National Convention" it had planned as a counter to the upcoming US-brokered peace conference in Annapolis, London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported on Sunday.

 

According to the report, Damascus agreed to delay the event and take part in the peace parley, after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice promised her Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem that Damascus' demands to raise the issue of the Golan Heights in Annapolis would be met.

 

It was further reported that Russia had also been pressuring Syrian President Bashar Assad to participate.

 

Political analysts said they viewed the delay of Syria's conference as an indication of its willingness to attend the conference in Maryland.

 

Following Syria's announcement, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki invited the Palestinian groups to hold their conference in Tehran.

 

According to Al-Hayat, Mottaki wrote to the PA groups, "We understand that you are facing difficulties in organizing the conference in Damascus – we hereby declare that Iran is willing to host it." The Iranian FM also stressed the need to "hinder the Annapolis conference". 

 

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