Israel, Syria talks set to resume-Israeli officials
Indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria are scheduled to resume this week in Turkey, Israeli officials said on Monday, reported Reuters.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel favoured moving to direct talks but it was unclear when that would happen. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faces a growing corruption investigation that could force him from office, .
"We expect the Israeli team to be in Turkey shortly," said Mark Regev, Olmert's spokesman.
Regev declined to give a specific date, but senior Israeli officials said the talks were scheduled to resume this week.
Regev declined to comment on any timeline for starting direct talks between the Israeli and Syrian delegations, but he said: "When talks move to direct talks, that would be a sign of significant progress."
Syrian and Turkish officials had no immediate comment.
Israel and Syria said last month they had launched indirect peace talks mediated by Turkish officials, the first negotiations between the two sides in eight years.
Syria wants the full return of the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.
Israel says any peace deal depends on Syria distancing itself from Iran and severing ties with Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip last June.