Whether anything comes from the talks, which are being held in Turkey, is the big question. Syria wants the Golan Heights back, which it lost in the 1967 war, and Israel doesn't want to give the territory away, as it provides Syria and its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, greater ability to attack Israel.
Iran is not pleased with the talks.
Think about that for a bit.
Why would any nation oppose peace talks between two nations?
Does Code Pink support the talks I wonder rhetorically?
Iran has promised Hamas new rockets and more funds, an expression of the Islamic Republic's displeasure with recent news of renewed Israeli-Syrian peace talks, the London-based newspaper, Asharq Alawsat reported on Sunday.I wonder whether Syria is looking to regain some semblance of respectability after being kicked out of Lebanon (though Hezbollah is gaining in strength there now) and suffering the embarrassment of Israel knocking out its North Korean built nuclear plant.
According to the report, Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who held a press conference in Teheran with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki Saturday, expressed his concern over statements issued simultaneously by Jerusalem, Damascus and Ankara last Wednesday in which a renewal of talks between Syria and Israel under Turkish mediation was declared.
Mashaal reportedly told his Iranian hosts that despite commitments he was given by Damascus that peace with Israel would not come at the expense of Syria's ties with Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas, he was still aware of the fact that Syria would have to make some concessions.
He emphasized that he understood that Syria could not sign a peace agreement with Israel, exchange ambassadors, end the state of war and make the Golan Heights demilitarized and at the same time continue to allow Iran to use its territory to transfer weapons to Hizbullah, train Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists and help in the financing of those groups.
An Iranian source told the paper that in light of Mashaal's fears, Iranian regime officials promised the head of Hamas's political bureau that Iran would continue supporting Hamas financially, materially and morally, even if Syria would turn its back on the organization for the sake of an agreement with Israel.
According to the source, the Iranians had even elaborated what that support would be: Newer, upgraded rockets and an increase in the budget allotted to Hamas to $150 million in the second half of 2008.
A source in the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Mashaal was promised that Iran would supply every support his organization might need, be it weapons, finance, or military training.
Iran's defense minister also expressed confidence on Sunday that negotiations would not hamper the strong alliance between Teheran and Damascus, the Iranian FARS news agency reported.
Labeling Syria a strategic ally of Iran, Defense Minister Mustafa Mohammed Nejad called on "Islamic states to strengthen their relations in order to defend themselves against the dangers which threaten the region."
Certainly, Israel would not be negotiating with Syria "without preconditions", as those on the left seem so willing to do in the West.
I also wonder what Lee Bollinger and his crew of appeasers at Columbia University think of their Persian Poster Child opposing peace.