History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Sunday, February 27, 2005

    Secret Peace Talks?

    The Jerusalem Post is reporting that secret peace talks between Israel and Syria were held last week in Jordan:

    Syrian, Jordanian and Israeli Foreign Ministry officials held secret peace talks in Jordan last week, an official Jordanian source told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. According to the source, technical committees from Syria and Israel were hosted at the Movenpick Hotel on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.

    Another meeting is planned, but there is no date set for it yet, said the source, who added that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss possibilities for more substantive peace contacts. The Israeli Foreign Ministry had no comment on the meeting. "This is the first time I have heard of this," said Mark Regev, the ministry's spokesman.

    It sounds like this is pretty low key at the moment, but the fact that Syria is even considering just talks is an important sign. Syria has long been the state the most hostile to Israel and if Assad decides to relax tensions with Israel then it could be a sign of a massive change inside Syria. These talks must pre-date the Harriri assassination, so that couldn't have prompted the Syrians to the table. More likely is the success of the elections in Iraq, as well as the US removal of the Hussein regime in general. The Syrians are starting to feel hemmed in, and even with Iranian help aren't in an ideal position. Getting some breathing room is no doubt a major priority for them at the moment. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

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