Syrian President Bashar Assad told France's Middle East envoy on Monday that Turkey must play an essential role in any peace talks between Syria and Israel, the Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported.
According to the report, Assad told French envoy Jean-Claude Cousseran that Syria is committed to achieving a "just and comprehensive peace" based on international resolutions.
Syria has in the past said it would only continue resume indirect peace talks with Israel, under Turkish mediation, from the point where they left off before Israel launched a three-week offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip in December 2008.
During Monday's meeting with Cousseran, Assad expressed appreciation of France's efforts to advance the peace process, despite Israeli policies.
Cousseran, who delivered a letter to Assad from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said that France hopes to increase cooperation with Syria, due to Syria's key role in any Middle East peace settlement.
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