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INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Syrian talks ruled out.

ISRAEL'S Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ruled out a resumption of peace talks with Syria just yet, denouncing Damascus as an "aggressive member of the axis of evil."

Mr Olmert spoke after one of his ministers called for renewed negotiations, and said Israel should give back the Golan Heights in exchange for peace with Syria.

Israel accuses Syria and Iran of arming and supporting Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas who fired nearly 4,000 rockets at Israel in the 34-day conflict that ended last week. However Israel went to great lengths to keep Syria out of the conflict, apparently to avoid opening another front, or closing future peace options.

Following the ceasefire, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivered a hardline speech in praise of Hezbollah and warned that future Arab generations might succeed with force where peace talks have failed so far, a reference to the Golan Heights which Israel captured in 1967.

Inspecting rocket damage in Maghar, northern Israel yesterday, Mr Olmert added: "Syria is a committed, aggressive member of the axis of evil. The missiles that landed in Maghar were made in Syria."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2006
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