Syria's Assad says still interested in Turkish-brokered talks with Israel
In Turkey, Syrian president says Israel objects to Turkish mediation in peace talks as it doesn't want peace.
Syrian President Bashar Assad said Saturday that his country was interested in peace with Israel - but that there was no Israeli partner capable of striking a deal.
"At this moment there is no Israeli partner for negotiations that could lead to a peace based on international principles," Assad said during a state visit to Turkey.
During a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul, the Syrian president said his country would insist onTurkish mediation in any future peace negotiations with Israel.
Israel continued to reject Turkey as an arbitrator because it was "unused to fair and neutral mediation", Assad said.
He added that Israel would not agree to Turkish mediation for fear talks would lead to a real peace treaty, which "Israel has no intention of making".
Assad called on the international community to intervene to prevent Israeli construction in East Jerusalem.
"The international community cannot limit itself to condemnation alone," he said.
The Syrian leader's comments follow remarks on Tuesday by the Israeli army's head of intelligence research, who told the Knesset that despite its strong backing for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, Damascus was genuinely interested in peace with Israel.
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