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UPDATED: 07:55, September 26, 2006
Syria denies report on meeting with Israel
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Syria on Monday denied a report that Syrian and Israeli representatives had held a secret meeting in late July, the official SANA news agency reported.

"Such news is baseless and poses a continuation of lies that Israel used to circulate during its recent aggressive war on Lebanon," an Information Ministry official was quoted as saying.

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth broke the news Monday which quoted a Washington-based foreign political source.

"The aim of the meeting was to coordinate moves and exchange clarifications that neither side intended to reignite the dormant (Golan) front between Israel and Syria," the source was quoted as saying.

The source said the meeting took place at the end of July, weeks after the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers which sparked the 34-day war starting from July 12.

The two sides "also discussed ideas for resuming dialogue for achieving a political settlement," the paper said.

It said a few months before the war on Lebanon, "Syria approached Israel three times through mediators in order to renew political negotiations," whose request, however, was rejected by Israel.

Syrian-Israeli peace talks foundered in 2000 over the fate of the strategic Golan Height plateau, which was occupied by the Jewish state during the 1967 Middle East war.

Source: Xinhua

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