Mideast-US.--Hoff Visits Damascus on Thursday to Revive Syrian-Israeli Peace Tack
--Israel Says Will Talk Peace with Syria if it Ends Alliance with Iran, Militant Groups
The Militant Group was an early British Trotskyist group, formed in 1935 by Denzil Dean Harber, former leader of the Marxist Group, as an entrist group
An aide of US special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell George Mitchell may refer to:
Syrian press reports said Mitchell's aide, Frederick Hoff, is scheduled to visit Syria on Thursday as part of efforts to achieve "permanent, comprehensive peace in the region." The semi-private Syrian daily AI Watan quoted Hoff as saying, "The United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. must act when there is an available opportunity for peace." Hoff added that the Barack Obama administration "believes that the Palestinian track is more urgent" than the Syrian track, and hence "gives priority to that". The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot had said that Hoff, who visited Damascus with Mitchell last month, would examine the possibility of resuming talks between Syria and Israel.
Hoff kicked off a four-day visit to Israel on Sunday and met Defense Minister Ehud Barak and senior military officers. Israeli officials renewed their calls on the Syrians to distance themselves from Iran and anti-Israeli militant groups Hizbullah and Hamas in order to hold peace talks. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Army Radio, "If Syria really wants peace, it ought to end those things."
Syria has ruled out the Israeli demand, and insists that any new negotiations include assurances that it will recover the Golan Heights Golan Heights, strategic upland region (2003 est. pop. 10,500), c.500 sq mi (1,250 sq km), SW Syria. It borders S Lebanon, NE Israel, and NW Jordan. It takes its name from the ancient city of Golan and was known as Gaulanitis in New Testament times. , which Israel captured in a 1967 war. Israel, which annexed the Golan in a move not recognized internationally, calls this an unacceptable precondition pre·con·di·tion
A condition that must exist or be established before something can occur or be considered; a prerequisite.
tr.v. . Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Dr Bashar al-Assad (Arabic: بشار الأسد, also has played down prospects for negotiations, saying he saw no partner in right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took power in March. The U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv Tel Aviv (tĕl əvēv`), city (1994 pop. 355,200), W central Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea. Oficially named Tel Aviv–Jaffa, it is Israel's commercial, financial, communications, and cultural center and the core of its largest had no immediate comment on Hoffs visit.
The pan-Arab daily ASHARQ AL AWSAT reported earlier that Hoff was carrying a draft plan that calls for returning the occupied Golan Heights to Syria in two stages. During the first stage, the Golan would be administered jointly by Israel and Syria, with each doing its best to develop the mountainous plateau into an open tourist area. Syria neither denied nor confirmed the plan, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the report. But Ayalon brushed aside such plans, saying, "We are not supposed to be examining regional deals. But I still don't see that the basic conditions are ripe for any kind of progress with the Syrians." An unnamed Israeli official also denied that the reported plan was discussed during Hoff's visit to Israel, AN NAHAR reported. "The idea that Hoff brought maps, in hope of implementing something, is false," the source said, characterizing the U.S. envoy's meetings as 'sounding-out sessions." Netanyahu's government says Damascus should stop insisting on restoring the Golan Heights as a precondition for peace talks.
Damascus and Tel Aviv last held direct peace talks in 2000 but failed to reach agreement over the Golan Heights, which Israel seized in 1967. They also held four indirect rounds of talks under the auspices of Ankara last year, which stumbled over the Israeli-led war on the Hamas-controlled Gaza and corruption charges against Israel's former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Mahmoud Abbas (Arabic: محمود عباس) (born March 26, 1935), also known by the kunya Abu Mazen has demanded that Israel freeze Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank before talks can resume. Israel has been trying to work out a compromise on the settlement issue with Washington linked with progress towards normalization In relational database management, a process that breaks down data into record groups for efficient processing. There are six stages. By the third stage (third normal form), data are identified only by the key field in their record. of relations with Arab countries in the region.