Syria Headed for Annapolis Talks

US gets full wish-list of Arab states to attend Israel-Palestine talks
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2007 1:53 PM CST
In this handout photo provided by the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, second from left, is seen sitting at a table with Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, right, along with...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Syria said today it will attend this week’s Israel-Palestine peace conference in Annapolis, a US victory in convincing every major Arab state—16 in all—to show, the AP reports. The US hopes such broad participation will help these talks succeed where previous efforts failed. Syria wants to discuss its Golan Heights region, which Israel captured in 1967.

The Heights aren’t on the agenda, but while states can voice concerns, Israel doesn’t want those issues to dominate the conference. It nevertheless sees the value in Arab presence, said Israel's top negotiator: “There isn't a single Palestinian who can reach an agreement without Arab support.” The Arab League hopes to prevent moderate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas from making dangerous concessions.