Is There Really a Window of Opportunity for Negotiations with Syria?

[Strategic Assessment-INSS-Tel Aviv University ] Shlomo Brom - Contacts between Israel and Syria, mediated by Turkey, regarding the renewal of negotiations toward a peace agreement have been underway for a year and a half. There are those who believe that just as Syria eventually waived its demand to recover the area of Alexandretta from Turkey, it will also eventually accept the loss of the Golan Heights, or part of it, and that it is possible to reach a peace agreement without conceding the area. I would contend, however, that after the precedents of treaties between Israel and Egypt and Jordan, the chance that even in the long term Syria will agree to peace without the return of the conquered territory is very slim. Although the U.S. has lifted its opposition to talks between Israel and Syria, it is not willing to participate in them. Syria's conduct in Lebanon, its non-prevention of the movement of terror activists from Syria to Iraq, its support of terror organizations, and its close ties with Iran undoubtedly interfere with any U.S. dialogue with Syria. However, it is doubtful whether Syria would be willing to start effective talks and conclude an agreement with Israel without U.S. participation.

2008-07-03 01:00:00

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