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  Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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Moscow welcomes the launch of peace talks between Syria and Israel
Moscow welcomes the launch of peace talks between Syria and Israel mediated by Turkey, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Israel and Syria officially announced on Wednesday the resumption of peace talks that were frozen eight years ago. The two countries have been holding indirect peace negotiations since Monday.

"In contacts with Israel and Syria in the past few months, we have been providing active assistance for the parties to launch dialogue. Its resumption has been welcomed by Moscow," said Andrei Nesterenko, who was recently appointed Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in April that peace talks would only be possible if Israel accepts his demand for a full return of the Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six Day War.

Israel earlier said talks with Syria could be resumed, but on the condition that Damascus first disassociate itself from Palestinian terrorist groups, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Iran.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Thursday Israeli and Syrian officials were satisfied with the course of bilateral peace talks.

"The parties are satisfied with the talks which have been held in Istanbul over three days. A common platform for a dialogue has been created. The talks will be held regularly," Babacan told reporters in Ankara.

Turkey offered its assistance as a mediator in the bilateral peace talks between Israel and Syria in April.


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