All eyes will be on Damascus today as French President Nicolas Sarkozy takes his place at a crucial Mid-east peace negotiation.
Diplomatic bridge-building between France and Syria has resulted in an invitation for Sarkozy to sit in on the latest round of Turkish-mediated talks between Israel and Syria.
“France fully supports indirect peace discussions between the Syrians and the Israelis, with the Turks acting as intermediaries,” said Sarkozy. “It is very important that we move closer to a day when Syria and Israel talk to each other directly, to build the peace that everybody needs.”
Syria is demanding the return of the Golan Heights seized by Israel in the 1967 war. Previous talks stalled 8 years ago.
“We cannot talk about stability today in the region without talking about peace between Syria and Israel,” said the Syrian President Bashir Al-Assad.
The Iran nuclear issue is another reason for the French presidential presence in Damascus. President Assad has said he will play go-between for the West.