Syrian President Bashar Assad
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AFP
France's special envoy Jean Claude Cousseran
Photo: AFP

Sarkozy envoy with 'message from Damascus'

French envoy meets Netanyahu after visit to Syria, passing along message about possible renewal of peace talks. Israeli official: No special development

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's Middle East envoy arrived in Israel on Monday to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to covey to him a "message from Damascus".


France's special envoy Jean Claude Cousseran spent the last few days in Syria. Aside from the PM, Cousseram net with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Minister Dan Meridor. They discussed the renewal of peace talks with Syria.


An Israeli official said the envoy passed along a message to the PM from Damascus regarding the issue, but the official clarified that "unfortunately there isn't anything dramatic to tell, and there doesn't appear to be any special development."


A report last week mentioned a meeting between American Jewish leader Malcolm Hoenlein and Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus. However the meeting was only part of a visit intended to discuss the rehabilitation of the Jewish community in Syria - a move indicating Assad's efforts to reach the hearts of US Jews and gain support at the White House, as claimed by the visit's organizer, Jewish businessman Joey Allaham. Allaham hinted that someone wanted to make a political profit off this visit and decided to make it public knowledge.


During his previous meeting with Cousseran, Assad said he was hopeful that "real developments will happen in the peace process, even though Israeli policy doesn't seem to convey that message."


A newspaper in Kuwait reported that in the past few weeks there was "an unprecedented response from Syria" in favor of the peace talks. The report said that due to Syrian indications, the US has decided to open a secret channel for negotiations with Israel opposite Syrian officials.


Other sources have yet to confirm or deny this report.





פרסום ראשון: 01.10.11, 22:28
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