On Albright's visit to Damascus
Syria-Israel-USA, Politics, 9/8/1999
Well-informed Syrian sources told the Lebanese daily al-Nahar that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright conveyed to Damascus on Saturday a formula for resuming negotiations, proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
This formula is based on "resuming negotiations with a promise to later, recognize the document" (of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin), pertaining to Israel's full withdrawal from the Golan to the June 4, 1967 border lines. This measure to avoid "embarrassing Barak internally."
Though Damascus has refused this proposal out of fears that it is a "deception," Syria seemed satisfied with the understanding showed by Albright over the Syrian fears and that she did not deny Rabin's documents and her commitment to a US move with the two sides until her meeting this month with her Syrian counterpart, Farouk al-Sharaa, in New York.
The sources added that Damascus fears that Barak intends to "get her involved and to later escape all efforts" exerted within five years, especially those relating in a withdrawal from all parts of the Golan as approved by Rabin and his successor, Shimon Peres.
The Syrian sources added, "Damascus' refusal of the formula conveyed by Albright" was based on its "full knowledge of the Israeli practices which are always based on playing with the element of time, especially as President Clinton's term of office will be terminated within one year, after which the US administration will be preoccupied by its own internal problems, a matter which will make Rabin's document futile."
Israeli newspaper: USA not to resume peace talks without a joint framework
Clinton gives priority to the Syrian - Israeli track
Syrian impressions on Albright's visit
US thoughts on the Syrian track
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