"(Syrian President Bashar) Assad is not interested in reaching an agreement with Israel on the Golan Heights but is rather looking to boost relations with the US, Anti-Syrian Druze leader in Lebanon Walid Jumblatt was quoted as saying by the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat on Friday.
According to Jumblatt, Assad "only wants to enhance ties with the US at the expense of Syria's special relationship with Qatar and Turkey. He is not seeking an agreement on the Golan, but a far more extensive deal."
Al-Sharq al-Awsat has recently reported that Syria does not intend to significantly soften its position vis-à-vis the peace negotiations with Israel. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told the daily that a return to the June 4, 1967 borders was a prerequisite and was not even up for negotiation.
"This will be the starting point for direct negotiations (with Israel)," Moallem was quoted as saying.
President Assad has said in the past that he had relayed to Jerusalem a document detaling six points that Syria deems crucial for the advancement of the peace process.
According to an official in Damascus, the document stresses the need for "a full (Israeli) withdrawal from Syrian lands".
The official added that the document was aimed at "preventing vague Israeli responses".