Syrian President Bashar Assad
Turkey and Qatar have been mediating between Syria and Israel in an attempt to revive the peace process between the two neighboring countries, a Qatari newspaper reported Thursday.
The report in Al-Watan newspaper echoed recent remarks by Syrian President Bashar Assad that a "new mediator which is not the United States" had been trying to bring Damascus and Jerusalem closer.
"Turkey is the main mediator seeking to bring closer Israel and Syria and a special Turkish envoy visited Damascus for the second time last week," Turkish and Egyptian diplomats told the newspaper.
"Syria and Turkey kept quiet about the Turkish envoy's visit, the details and the progress of mediations," the diplomats added.
Meanwhile, diplomats in Damascus commented on Assad's inaugural speech: "The Syrian president's speech about negotiations for peace with Israel was clear and threw the ball in Israel's court and in the face of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert."
The diplomats said it was possible for Israel and Syria to hold talks in Turkey if Israel agreed to Syrian demands that a withdrawal from the Golan Heights would be the basis for any peace agreement.