Three days of indirect peace talks betwen Syria and Israel which are being conducted under auspices of Turkey have apparently led to a sense of satisfaction on the part of both sides. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan noted: “Both sides were satisfied that the talks-which went on for three days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Istanbul –resulted in findng a common ground.” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem claimed his nation had received firm commitments on the part of Israel for a fulll withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights. Israel Pime Minister Ehud Olmert said his nation was “ready to make substantial concessions to Syria that will be quite painful.” Babacan refused to comment on the specific areas of agreement except to say”the basic philosophy is peace for land and land for peace.”
President Bush insists talking with nations that have engaged in or supported terrorism is an example of appeasement. Syria certainly fits the category of being a terrorist nation but appearently when Israel talks with terrorist nations it is not appeasement, according to the Bush version of the world, but simply an exercise in common sense. If the same sense of practicality could now be applied to initating discussions with Hamas and Hizbullah the Middle East might move onto the roadway of peace and reality.