Syrian President Bashar Assad admitted there has been indirect negotiation with Israel that has enhanced possibility of peace between the two nations, but is still uncertain if the road to peace will succeed. “Today, there is a possibility of peace,” said Assad, “but nonetheless, we cannot sya that we are close to achieving peace. We are preparing for direct negotiations. When we reach that step, we will be able to say that we are approaching peace.” He emphasized that Turkey and French diplomats have been assisting the peace process. In an interesting aside, the Syrian president that while George Bush had dodged effort to achieve peace, “we have to wait for the new administration to know what its orientations are. Afterwards, we can speak of direct negotiations.”
A new American president will have a window of opportunity to initiate new initiatives to achieve peace in the Middle East. The question is whether domestic concerns will interfere with these efforts.