Turkey is determined to resume mediating indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in Damascus Sunday, dpa reported.
Turkey had announced last week that it was prepared to resume mediating indirect talks between Syria and Israel if both parties agreed.
Negotiations reached a stalemate after the resignation of former Israeli Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert. Syria then withdrew from the talks in protest at the Israeli three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip.
"We will work hard to move from the indirect talks to the direct talks," Davutoglu told reporters after meeting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian capital.
Davutoglu added that al-Assad had "expressed a strong will" during their talks.
Davutoglu also met with his Syrian counterpart,
Walid al-Moallem, and Assistant Vice-President Hassan Turkmani.
"We are ready to make efforts in the same spirit and same direction," he told reporters Sunday.
Western diplomats in Damascus told the German Press Agency dpa that they expected the indirect talks between Syria and Israel to resume soon, but did not elaborate.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that he was prepared to meet with al-Assad immediately and without preconditions.
Al-Moallem replied that Israel must first declare its intention to withdraw to its 1967 borders before any direct talks could take place.