Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Turkey says Syria-Israel talks may restart

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's prime minister said Tuesday that Israel had accepted that his country again mediate talks with Syria but the Israeli prime minister said no decision had been made.

"Syria wants Turkey's mediation," the state-run Anatolia news agency quoted Recep Tayyip Erdogan as telling journalists during a visit to Saudi Arabia. "Israel has accepted this."

"I hope that we can start the new process," the agency also quoted him as saying.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement saying "No decision has been taken to renew the Turkish mediation."

It added: "but if these comments reflect Turkey's desire to strengthen its relations with Israel and to contribute to peacemaking in the region — then Israel would clearly welcome that aspiration."

Erdogan's spokesman could not be reached for comment.

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