A senior Syrian official said Tuesday that Damascus was ready for peace talks with Israel but without any preconditions."Syria is ready for negotiations and ready for peace based on the Madrid (peace conference) principles and international (UN) resolutions without conditions," Syrian Assistant Foreign Minister Ahmad Arnous said.Official peace talks between Israel and Syria were suspended indefinitely in January 2000.
For the first time Monday, Olmert held a meeting of the "Syria cabinet," which was established last week and comprises 11 members of the security cabinet. The Syria cabinet heard intelligence assessments about Syria, its relations in the Arab world, its strategy, its military deployment on the Golan Heights, and the domestic and regional standing of Bashar Assad....According to the reports, the Syrian army is busy improving its capabilities but its deployments are "defensive," according to a senior political source in Jerusalem.
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