The last meeting was in July, sometime shortly after IAF warplanes buzzed Assad’s house.
I’m going to sleep on it, but at first glance this would seem to be important:
According to the terms, Syria will also agree to end its support for Hezbollah and Hamas and will distance itself from Iran…
Syria would also exercise its influence for a solution to the conflict in Iraq, through an agreement between Shi’a leader Muqtada Sadr and the Sunni leadership, and in addition, it would contribute to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the refugee problem…
It also emerged that one of the Syrian messages to Israel had to do with the ties between Damascus and Tehran. In the message, the Alawi regime – the Assad family being members of the Alawi minority – asserts that it considers itself to be an integral part of the Sunni world and that it objects to the Shi’a theocratic regime, and is particularly opposed to Iran’s policy in Iraq. A senior Syrian official stressed that a peace agreement with Israel will enable Syria to distance itself from Iran.
In return, Syria would get the Golan Heights and not much else. Why would they have offered to make that deal with Bush weak, Olmert untested, and their Iranian patrons on the march? And why on earth would Israel have been the party to break off talks?
The contacts ended after the Syrians demanded an end to meetings on an unofficial level and called for a secret meeting at the level of deputy minister, on the Syrian side, with an Israeli official at the rank of a ministry’s director general, including the participation of a senior American official. Israel did not agree to this Syrian request.
Update: Olmert plays dumb.