Thursday, November 15, 2007
"15/11/2007 Syria has expressed its readiness to attend a U.S.-sponsored regional summit later this month following confirmation from Russia and the Palestinian Authority that it would receive a direct invitation, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Thursday.
Until now, it was not clear whether Syria was to be invited directly to the summit or as part of the Arab League. Syria has said it would not attend the summit unless it received an official invitation. It has also said that it would attend the summit only if discussions included the return of the occupied Golan Heights, a strategic plateau Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed.
Meanwhile, Turkish leaders have begun recently to increase pressure on Israel to renew its negotiations with Syria, telling ‘Jerusalem’ that its conflict with Damascus will be easier to resolve than the ongoing process with the Palestinians.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during their meeting in London a few weeks ago that from a "cost-value" perspective, the Syrian track promises more than the Palestinians. A similar message was raised during talks held in recent days between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Turkish leaders in Ankara. Erdogan attributed great significance to negotiations with the Palestinians as well as the upcoming regional summit in Annapolis, as part of the process of bolstering Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and continuing the dialogue between the two sides.
Still, the Turkish leader said, a deal between Israel and the Palestinians will be difficult to achieve because of the complicated nature of the matter, which based on considerations other than territory. However, Erdogan said, the Syrian track is based primarily on the issue of borders and is therefore easier to resolve.
Erdogan told Olmert during their talks that he did not understand why Israel continues its vested efforts in finding a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians while refusing to open negotiations with Syria. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has said that at this point, it is most important for Israel to focus its efforts on resolving the Palestinian issue."
I predicted that Syria would attend a couple of months ago.