Israel, Syria talks "success" and more planned, Turkey says
Indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria held in Turkey on Sunday and Monday were a success, and two more sessions have been planned for July, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said.
The talks, the second such set mediated by Turkey, were "completed with success," and both the Syrian and Israeli mediators "left very satisfied, and have already started talking details," Babacan told journalists after a meeting with EU diplomats in Luxembourg.
"The calendar has been set for the next two meetings in July," he said.
Babacan characterized the indirect talks, in which Turkish diplomats shuttled between Israeli and Syrian delegations, as an "exchange of views" between the two sides, reported dpa.
"I do not wish to raise expectations, because it is a very complex issue - not as complex as the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but complex," he said.
Syria and Israel have not held direct peace talks since January 2000, when negotiations collapsed because of a dispute over the future of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel whose return Syria insists on as a prerequisite for peace.
On Monday, Israeli President Shimon Perez called on his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, to join direct talks.