Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Switzerland says it mediated in informal Israel-Syria peace talks

Last update - 02:49 23/01/2007   

Switzerland says it mediated in informal Israel-Syria peace talks
By Assaf Oni and Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondents

Switzerland served as a mediator in informal talks between Israeli and Syrian representatives, which were first reported in Haaretz last week, Swiss Foreign Minister and Federal Councilor Micheline Calmy-Ray said Monday.
The parties to the secret back-channel negotiations with Syria met with relatives of Israeli spy Eli Cohen's family and discussed the possibility that Damascus would allow his remains to be repatriated one peace talks are renewed. One of the meetings was sponsored by the Foreign Ministry. Nadia Cohen, widow of the executed spy, told Haaretz Monday that before taking ill, former prime minister Ariel Sharon promised she would soon bring her husband to Israel for burial. Cohen supported any effort to end the conflict with Syria and hopes her husband's reinterment will be one of the first confidence-building steps between the two states.
Former foreign minister Silvan Shalom, a Likud MK, confirmed last week that he knew of the secret talks while serving at the ministry.
Meretz chair Yossi Beilin said after Haaretz first revealed the initiative that the European who mediated between the Israelis and Damascus was the head of the Middle East desk in the Swiss Foreign Ministry, Nicholas Lang. Lang had played a key role in the talks between Israelis and Palestinians that led to Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo's Geneva Initiative. Earlier, Lang had served as Swiss general consul in Jerusalem.
Over the weekend, Lang visited Jerusalem, later traveling to Damascus to meet senior government officials, including Vice President Farouk Shara and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.
Swiss Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey confirmed Monday that Switzerland acted as a mediator in the informal talks between Israeli and Syrian negotiators. "Switzerland was the broker in the talks reported by the press," Calmy-Rey told a press conference in Geneva. She also said that the mediator himself is currently in Syria.
Calmy-Rey said she will meet with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In her first press conference as president, Calmy-Rey declined to detail the situation of the talks or their likely results, and rejected charges that Switzerland favors the Palestinians, citing its neutral policy during the recent conflict in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Druze community in Lebanon, Walid Jumblatt, Monday accused Hezbollah of waging the summer war for Syria and Iran in order to improve the Syrian bargaining position. He said the Lebanese paid the price for talks that Syrian-American businessman Ibrahim Suleiman had conducted with Israelis.
"Does that not shame Hezbollah to be used at the expense of Lebanon and the Lebanese?" Jumblatt asked. Jumblatt is considered a moderate in the Middle East regarding relations with Israel and an opponent of Syrian involvement in Lebanon.
Assaf Uni, Yoav Stern and news agencies contributed to this report.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory