On Shepherdstown Syria - Israel talks
Syria-Israel-USA, Politics, 1/6/2000
The former Israeli ambassador in Washington and former chairman of Israel's delegation to the negotiations with Syria, Eitamar Rabinovich, said on Wednesday in an interview with Israeli Radio that starting negotiations on normalization, the waters, the security settlements and borders on Wednesday was a tactical achievement for Israel.
He added, "It is understood and clear for us in Israel and in the world that there will be a need for painful regional concessions and a big withdrawal from the Golan. And this is evident."
He added that there is an unprecedented chance and political will in the Syrian and Israeli sides to reach an agreement.
Meanwhile, the correspondent of Israeli Radio in Shepherdstown, site of the current Syrian - Israeli talks, said that until now Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al- Sharaa did not shake hands with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and that Syrian reporters who are near the Israeli correspondents in the media center in Shepherdstown fear shaking hands and talking to the Israeli correspondents.
The Israeli Radio correspondent added that the Shepherdstown talks will continue until the middle of next week as Barak has decided to stay there.
The correspondent added that , in reply to a question asked by one Syrian journalist in Shepherdstown concerning the question of withdrawal, the spokesman for the US State Department, James Rubin, said that that issue cannot be debated openly because this will place obstacles before concluding an agreement.
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