Moscow May Host Talks for Israel, Syria

Sequel to Annapolis would tackle dispute over Golan Heights
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2007 1:46 PM CST
From left, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.S. President Bush, Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia, front, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israeli...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Russia and the US are hatching a possible follow-up to the Annapolis Mideast summit in Moscow next year; the meeting would be aimed at launching peace negotiations between Israel and Syria, the Washington Post reports. Both sides signaled enthusiasm about reviving talks, centered on the dispute over the Golan Heights, which Israel seized in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Faced with a weakened Palestinian Authority, Israel is eager to deal with Syria, which might be hostile but better able to deliver change. The Israel-Syria dispute is also much less fraught than the issues dividing Israel and the Palestinian Authority, officials say. "The delicious irony is that a process designed to launch the Palestinian-Israeli track is likely to launch talks between Syria and Israel," says one Annapolis observer.