Damascus Optimistically Approaches Peaceful Mediation of Turkey between Syria and Israel: Experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 April /corr. Trend R.Hafizoglu, R.Abdullayev / Despite that Damascus does not highly assess the meeting between the President of Syria, Bashar Asad and Prime Minister of Turkey, Rajab Teyyub Erdogan, with regards to returning of occupied Golan Heights, it hopes that the problem will be settled at least partially.

" Damascus optimistically approaches Turkey's mediation in the peaceful talks on the Israeli-Syrian conflict settlement," official of the Syrian Parliament, who wished to stay anonym, reported to Trend .

In his interview to Qatar agency Al-Vatan, the President of Syria, Bashar Al-Asad, said that during the meeting with the Prime Minister of Turkey, Rajab Teyyub Erdogan, he stated that Israel is prepared to return Golan Heights to Syria. This information was provided by Al Jazair TV channel on 26 April.

"We highly appreciate Ankara's peace initiative," official of the Press Secretariat of the Syrian Parliament, who wished to stay anonym, reported to Trend by telephone from Damascus on 28 April. According to him, despite that Turkey is Israel's ally in political and military spheres; it has high-level diplomatic relations with Arab states as well. "The issue that despite that Turkey is Israel's ally in the political and military spheres, its high-level diplomatic relations with Arab states as well allows an opportunity to Ankara to implement peace mission in the region," he added. The official stressed that Damascus believes that the tense relations with Israel will be at least partially settled via mediation of Turkey, and Israel's policy with regards to Syria will mitigate.

"It is very soon to speak of any results of the meeting between Al-Asad and Erdogan," Turkish official representative, who wished to stay anonymous, reported to Trend from Israel on 28 April.

According to him, due to the issue that Syria is against any secret talks, Damascus wants the U.S. officials to attend the meetings. In addition, he said that the Prime Minister of Turkey called on Al-Asad to be more active in the talks between Israel and Syria. " Turkey suggested Al-Asad to hold talks at the level of ministers in order to ensure productivity of talks between Israel and Turkey," he said.

The expert added that the Turkish-Israeli co-operation gives an opportunity to Ankara to implement peace mission in the region.

The Press Service of Israeli Foreign Ministry refused to provide any commentaries.

The President of Syria, Al-Asad, said to a press-conference on 25 April that since 27 April 2007, Ankara has been carrying out mediation in the peaceful settlement of the Syrian-Israeli conflict.

Golan Heights, which belong to Syria, was occupied by Israel in 1967.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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