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Israel split over peace talks with Syria

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Israel split over peace talks with Syria


The Israeli government has been discussing its position towards Syria amid signs of a split.

Yesterday Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel would only talk peace if Damascus dropped its preconditions. But this morning Defence Minister Ehud Barak sounded more upbeat. “It is in the State of Israel’s interest to reach an arrangement on its ties with Syria, while defending our crucial security and other interests,” Barak, leader of the Labour Party, told reporters. “Negotiations would be required for this, and the possibility of such negotiations must always be on the Israeli government’s agenda.” On the election trail, Benjamin Netanyahu vowed not to give up the Golan Heights. But it is thought the US President Barack Obama may put pressure on the prime minister to seek a breakthrough as part of a wider land-for-peace deal when the two men meet next month.

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