Syrian minister says Israel willing to give up Golan

(Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has told Turkey that Israel was willing to give back Syria's Golan Heights in return for peace with the Arab state, a Syrian cabinet minister said on Wednesday.

"Olmert is ready for peace with Syria on the grounds of international conditions; on the grounds of the return of the Golan Heights in full to Syria," Expatriates Minister Buthaina Shaaban told Al Jazeera television in a live interview.

The Israeli position was relayed to President Bashar al-Assad by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who she said will visit Damascus on Saturday.

Damascus will seek details about the Israeli message from Erdogan, said Shaaban, adding that her country had no intention of conducting secret talks with the Jewish state.

"The Israelis talk a lot about peace," she said. "The stance of Damascus is that Syria is always with peace that (guarantees) the return of full rights ... we have negotiated for 10 years for the return of the Golan."

A source close to Erdogan denied that Turkish prime minister had delivered a message to Assad.

Commenting on Wednesday's reports, Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev said: "I have nothing to add beyond what the prime minister said on Friday in his interviews with the Israeli press about his desire for peace with Syria."

Olmert told the daily Yedioth Ahronoth last week, in answer to a question on pulling out of the Golan, that he was working to achieve a "significant move" for peace with Syria.

Syrian-Israeli talks collapsed in 2000 over the scope of an Israeli pullout from the Heights, occupied since 1967. Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 in a move condemned internationally.

U.S. ROLE

As well as strategic high ground, the fertile Golan Heights ensure Israeli control of important water resources in the arid region, land for vineyards, orchards and cattle-grazing.

Around 18,000 Israeli settlers live in the heights among 22,000 Druze who consider themselves Syrians.

International attempts to persuade Syria and Israel to resume talks foundered after the two sides attached conditions to a return to the negotiating table.

Syria wants Israel to commit to a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights and wants the United States, Israel's chief ally, to oversee the talks.

Israel wants Syria's ties with Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to be on the agenda, both arch-foes of Israel. Israel says Syria, which hosts top Hamas officials, is the main supply route for Hezbollah.

Diplomats in Damascus earlier on Wednesday played down the importance of reports in Syrian media about the Israeli offer, saying that the two sides also had yet to agree on how to tackle Syrian ties with Hezbollah and Hamas.

Acknowledging talks through a third party, Assad told a closed meeting of the ruling Baath party on Sunday that an Israeli commitment to withdraw fully from the Golan had to be a basis for talks but any direct negotiations would be public.

"The president made it clear that third party efforts were fine as long as a framework is agreed upon and Israel commits to a full withdrawal," a source familiar with the annual meeting of the powerful Baath Party central committee said.

Israeli agriculture technologies successfully introduced in Uzbekistan
Israeli agriculture technologies successfully introduced in Uzbekistan
First UAE ambassador arrives in Israel, eyes Tel Aviv embassy
First UAE ambassador arrives in Israel, eyes Tel Aviv embassy
Israel registers 1,218 new COVID-19 cases, 774,479 in total
Israel registers 1,218 new COVID-19 cases, 774,479 in total
Loading Bars
Latest
Accreditation of journalists for 2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix starts
SOCAR Turkey to use IBM Hybrid Cloud Solution
F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021 to be held under new rules - Baku City Circuit
Iran plans to extract large amount of oil from Azar field
Russian financiers to invest in textile production in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan's minister of culture meets with Turkish MFA's head
Agricultural work carried out in Turkmenistan’s Akhal region
Azerbaijan first in TOP-5 economic freedom gainers in Europe - Index of Economic Freedom report
Kazakhstan reveals number of agricultural investment projects on target
Turkey publishes data on cargo shipment via local ports from Iran
Azerbaijani Azerenerji reconstructing country's second largest HPP (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Kazakhstan-Indonesia trade plummets in 2020
Kyrgyzstan eyes importing electricity from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan's coal extracting venture opens tender to buy welding equipment
Kazakhstan to prepare roadmaps for implementation of investment projects
Georgia reveals inflation rate
COVID-19 pandemic boosts popularity of cashless payments in Kazakhstan
UK house price growth picks up unexpectedly in February
Kazakhstan boosts imports from Malaysia
Turkmenistan names schedule of cargo flights to China, Germany for two months
TOP-10 private companies in Azerbaijan's January 2021 non-oil export
French Air Liquide to produce, supply technical gases to Atyrau refinery in Kazakhstan
Number of projects to be implemented in textile industry in Uzbekistan’s Syrdarya region
Oil and gas sector: German, Azerbaijani companies discuss opportunities in over 70 virtual B2B meetings (PHOTO)
Prices for Azerbaijani oil announced
Kazakhstan's oil & gas company opens tender to buy power supply units
Turkish-Iranian trade turnover rises in January 2021
Turkmenistan introduces new sanitary, hygienic requirements for passenger trains
Volume of goods received at Turkish ports from Greece disclosed
German retail sales tumble in January as lockdown bites
Uzbekistan announces launch date of solar photovoltaic station in Navoi region
JP Morgan Bank boosts 2021 Brent oil price forecast
Assessment of cultural heritage of Azerbaijan's Karabakh must be objective - French MP tells lagazetteaz.fr
Iran in favorable position to use all joint oil, gas fields – oil minister
Azerbaijan shares footage from Khojavand's Dudukchu village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Mckinsey & Co. says oil demand to take 2-4 years to return to 2019 levels
Volume of stabilization fund stocks insufficient to curb prices - Kazakhstan's minister
Turkish president approves one more agreement with Azerbaijan
Kazakh banks have strong loss-absorption capacity - analysis
Israeli agriculture technologies successfully introduced in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan's monetary base notably grows in annual terms
Foreign exchange reserves of Azerbaijan's CBA increase over month
Turkmenistan resumes train communication between two cities
UN, Azerbaijan sign Framework Document on Cooperation (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani AzStateNet network records increase in number of blocked "intruders"
Indian diaspora holds Tiranga rally in Brampton for stronger ties with Canada
India, New Zealand discuss Indo-Pacific
Antigua and Barbuda thanks PM Modi for demonstrating 'act of benevolence' by distributing COVID-19 vaccines
Iranian currency rates for March 2
Bulgarian companies ready to participate in recovery projects in Azerbaijan’s liberated lands
With India’s aid, restoration work of heritage site in Nepal begins
Betting on death of petrol cars, Volvo to go all electric by 2030
From India to NASA, Scientist Swati Mohan Breaking Barriers in Space Exploration
India, US reaffirm strategic partnership at bilateral meeting of UN envoys
EIB’s energy efficiency investments constituted more 50% of all energy lending
India-Brazil space cooperation reaches new heights with launch of Amazonia-1 satellite
Renewables accounted for 35% of EIB energy investments
Azerbaijani currency rates for March 2
ECO freight train to resume operation after 9 years
Turkey publishes figures on cargo shipment via local ports from Georgia
Europe’s oil & gas industry marks 28% increase in cross-border deals
Oil extends losses on worry over possible supply increase from OPEC
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for March 2
Gas production dep’t managed by Uzbekneftegaz announces tender for construction of rotational camp
Iran interested in rapid revival of liberated territories of Azerbaijan – Iranian Ambassador (INTERVIEW)
Georgia to secure AstraZeneca vaccine in coming weeks
Iran-made COV-Pars vaccine one of world best vaccines: Official
Kazakhstan reports 658 new COVID-19 cases over past day
Chinese mainland reports 11 new imported COVID-19 cases
Uruguay begins vaccination drive against COVID-19
Uzbekistan reveals priorities for agriculture dev’t for 2021
5.1-magnitude quake hits 11 km S of Urrao, Colombia
Iraq reports 3,599 new COVID-19 cases, 699,088 in total
UN chief asks for generous donations for Yemen humanitarian operations
5 killed in helicopter crash in east China
New service of money transfers between Russia, Azerbaijan launched
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 347,000 in past day
EU to propose vaccine certificates in time for summer holidays
Turkey eases coronavirus restrictions as cafes, eateries reopen
European Council President pledges Georgia to have access to Covid-19 vaccine
First vaccine against coronavirus registered in Uzbekistan
Iran, Syria enjoy $1.5 billion trade capacity: Official
More cargo from Georgia to Lithuania expected in future by Klaipeda Seaport
Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Ambassador of Belarus discuss prospects for development of military co-op
Azerbaijani FM, Uzbek ambassador exchange views on current situation in region (PHOTO)
Numerous people take part in online survey on return to Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region
Azerbaijani State Insurance Commerce Company talks about closure of some branches
Azerbaijan to develop new services for microfinance sector
Overdue debt increases in Georgia
Georgia sees increase in volume of deposits in lari
Georgian commercial banks see decline in lending
Azerbaijan to use Turkey's experience in restoring monuments in liberated lands (PHOTO)
Georgian farmers can now get diesel benefits online
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on March 2
Azerbaijani SOFAZ unveils volume of foreign currency sold at auctions during February
Presidential website releases full version of press-conference of Azerbaijani president (VIDEO)
Uzbekistan, Organization of Islamic Cooperation talk prospects of cooperation
Georgia to secure first doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
Statement in support of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity adopted at conference in Iran (PHOTO)
All news