Israel, Syria continue indirect negotiations this week in Istanbul
Israel and Syria are to continue their indirect peace negotiations this coming week in Istanbul, it was announced Saturday in Damascus, dpa reported.
This fourth round of negotiations is to cover how the two formal enemy states can move on from the phase of indirect talks with Turkish intermediation to direct talks, Syrian government officials said.
The negotiations began in May after a seven-year freeze in the Israeli-Syrian peace process. Syria is demanding a complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Israel for its part wants Syria to end its support of the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah and radical Palestinian groups.
Turkish diplomats have been playing the role of "political letter carriers," delivering messages back and forth between the two sides. The two sides' negotiating teams have not yet sat at the same table together, with Syria rejecting direct talks at this stage.