Tuesday, January 16

Israel, Syria deny 'peace talks'

From The Jerusalem Post:

Israel and Syria both issued vehement denials on Tuesday to a report
that there had been secret agreements between the two countries during former prime minister Ariel Sharon's term as prime minister.

David Baker, an official in the Prime Minister's Office, said that "the Israeli government is unaware of any such meetings."

The Syrian Foreign Ministry also denied the reports. "That there were no contacts and the report is totally false," said a statement released by the ministry.

Meanwhile, Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka (National Democratic Assembly), who visited Syria about four months ago, told Ynet that the Haaretz report that Israeli and Syrian representatives held talks for two years and formulated a document of understandings for a peace agreement between the two countries was "a virtual agreement of academics."

According to the MK, to the best of his knowledge no direct or indirect talks were being held between
Israel and Syria.

What's more, Meir Dagan, chief of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, confirmed Syria's arms ramp-up last month, saying that the dictator-led Arab nation to Israel northeast has exhibited no signs of desiring peace with Israel.

"Israel's military deterrence was damaged in the [Second Lebanon] war. Therefore, Assad's self-confidence grew. They are prepared to take more risks than in the past," Dagan said.
I am currently (14:30 IST) uploading to YouTube an exclusive interview with Dr. Eran Lerman, former IDF Intelligence Dep. Chief of Strategic Planning about the reputed "non-paper" talks between Israel and Syria. Lerman also takes a look forward to possible regional developments with Iran. I will embed the report soon, so come back soon and refresh this page to watch.

More on this report here.

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