Senior Syrian officials were quoted by London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat as saying that the renewed talks with Israel were aimed, among other things, to set a timetable for Israel's withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 (pre-Six Day War) borders.
According to the sources, the talks in Istanbul between Israeli and Syrian representatives were not direct and were conducted with the help of a Turkish mediator, who relayed messages between the negotiating teams.
"Syria will not miss any real opportunity to achieve peace, as long as is does not come at the expense of the Palestinian track," a Syrian official was quoted by Al-Hayat as saying.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told the newspaper "There will not be a situation in which Syria advances even one step (in the peace process) without a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights. This is not a prerequisite; it is our right."
The Syrian officials that the agreement reached in Lebanon Wednesday and the renewed negotiations with Israel marked a "new stage" in Syria's relations with the Arab states and the West and particularly the United States.