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Israel says it won't hold talks with Syria

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Israel says it won't hold talks with Syria

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Israel has brushed off recommendations made by the Iraq Study Group to hold immediate direct talks with Syria. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the time was not right for such negotiations because of Damascus’ support for the ruling Palestinian movement Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction. In Syria, on the other hand, the report has been welcomed. Cabinet minister Buthaynah Shabhan said: “I totally agree with the analysis, as I said I hope this is the first step towards a wiser American strategy towards the Middle East.”