Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Report: Hamas leader Meshal 'leaves Syria for Sudan'

Diplomatic wheels on Syria seem to be turning silently once again. The Kuwaiti Newspaper al Rai reports that Syria has asked Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal to leave Damascus for Sudan. The report, which comes only a day before Nicolas Sarkozy arrives in Damascus, is the latest sign that direct negotiations between Israel and Syria could occur in the near future.

This report, if true, has deep implications not only for Israel-Syria talks, but prospects for US-Syrian relations as well, which are at their lowest point in nearly 40 years.

Note: I'm writing a book at the moment, so my posts have been intermittent. My apologies! I'm heading to Syria to cover Sarkozy's visit tomorrow morning.

Last update - 12:09 02/09/2008

Hamas leader Meshal 'leaves Syria for Sudan'

By Haaretz Service

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported Tuesday that Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal has left Damascus to live in Sudan at Syria's request, in a move stemming from Syria's desire to advance indirect peace talks with Israel.

The paper quoted Palestinian sources stating that the move was part of a secret deal between Meshal and the Syrian authorities. Meshal has been based in Damascus since his expulsion from Jordan some ten years ago.

Israeli sources believe that the move indeed signals a serious desire on Syria's part to advance the negotiations.

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