Assad. Talks with Syria soon?
Photo: Reuters
Report: US working to resume Israel-Syria negotiations
American sources tell al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that Obama administration putting efforts to establish trust, create common denominator between Israel, Syria in attempt to launch negotiations soon
The United States is trying to open a new channel of communications between Israel and Syria in addition to its efforts to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Saturday.


According to the report issued one day after the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the Obama administration is planning to ignite Israel-Syria negotiations in an effort to achieve peace in the Middle East.


American sources told the paper that the US administration is putting great efforts in creating a common denominator and building trust between Israel and Syria in the coming period before launching negotiations.


The newspaper also noted that Fred Hoff, a senior US official responsible for the negotiations between Israel, Syria and Lebanon, visited the region earlier this month and discussed details on which to base future talks.


France has also worked to renew Israeli-Syrian negotiations. Last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed an envoy in charge of the peace process between Syria and Israel. A French Foreign Ministry spokesperson said President Sarkozy appointed former ambassador to Damascus, Jean-Claude Cousseran to oversee the progress of the Israeli-Syrian peace process, "which Frances sees as extremely important."


Last month Ynet reported of a new channel of communications between Israel and Syria which was opened on Syrian President Bashar Assad's initiative through Jewish-American Senator Arlen Specter.


Israeli officials believe the Syrian president's timing was not accidental, and that the country is altering its position on talks with Israel following new sanctions on Iran.



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