Suleiman in Jerusalem for Syrian briefingPDFPrintE-mail
Written by Chris Perver  
Tuesday, 10 April 2007 17:00
Ibrahim Suleiman, a Syrian American diplomat who held covert talks between Israeli and Syrian leaders over the last few years, flew into Jerusalem on Tuesday for a not-so-secretive meeting with the Israeli government. Suleiman will hold informal talks with former Israel Foreign Ministry director-general Dr. Alon Liel, and will brief the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee on his contacts with Syria on Thursday. 

Quote: ""This is a very exciting visit," Liel told Ynet. "He has been here in the past, but never openly and publicly. He's certainly not accustomed to such visits. He's, by nature, a man of covert diplomacy." "What we need to do now is let the Israeli public hear him, and collect information and see if the change in Syria that he alludes to is really taking place. The Israeli public needs to be the judge," he said.

Suleiman had been involved in secretive talks between Syrian and Israeli officials for several years. It is thought that the dialogue between the two nations had resulted in a theoretical peace plan between Israel and Syria, which would see the Golan Heights demilitarised and the creation of a peace park in the region. The existence of the talks were initially denied by both Israel and Syria. Then they stated the talks were undertaken without knowledge of the Israeli government. Both these claims were later retracted when Suleiman revealed Ariel Sharon and the US administration received regular briefings on their progress. The Israeli government finally stated that the talks did take place, but no agreement was reached. Suleiman originally said he believed the revelation of the talks by Haaretz would put an end to the dialogue with Syria, but it seems Suleiman may now be able to carry on his work in a more public manner.

Source YNet News