Fanack Home / Syria / History of Syria from Past to Present / Bashar al-Assad (since 2000) / Negotiations with Israel

Negotiations with Israel

The last time (indirect) negotiations took place between Syria (Hafiz al-Assad) and Israel (Ehud Barak), was in 2000 in Geneva, with Bill Clinton acting as a mediator. However talks were soon suspended after Barak failed to deliver on earlier pledges to completely withdraw from the Golan Heights, which Israel seized in the 1967 June War – thus incurring Assad’s anger and Clinton’s great displeasure.

Although Syria remains formally at war with Israel, Damascus has repeatedly declared its readiness to sign a peace treaty in exchange for a full Israeli withdrawal from Syria’s Golan Heights. From the Syrian perspective, this had been the objective of the abortive Madrid peace process and of subsequent negotiations with the Israelis during Hafiz al-Assad’s presidency. There has been no change under Bashar al-Assad. From 2004 to 2006 Syria engaged in secret talks with Israel, and the President reiterated his regime’s readiness for a negotiated settlement with Israel in a speech to the Syrian Parliament on 17 July 2007, after he had been sworn in for a second seven-year term as President. Damascus and Israel later pursued indirect peace talks, with Turkish mediation, but these were suspended in December 2008 as a result of that month’s Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip.

negotiations Israel and Syria
US President Bill Clinton, mediating between Israel and Syria, met with Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad in Geneva, March 2000

Syrian nuclear plant at al-Kibar, near Deir al-Zor, before and after the bombardement in September 2007 by the Israeli Air Force ©US GOV

The fragile state of Israeli-Syrian relations, despite the talks, was emphasized by an Israeli air raid on an alleged nuclear facility near Deir al-Zor, in north-eastern Syria, on 6 September 2007.

Further Reading

After its independence in 1946, Syria has suffered a long period of political instability. It was attributed to the seve...
Syria has recently been in a crisis, which holds a lot of historic fluctuations and incidents. Ruled by al-Ba’ath Part...
On 14 February 2005 a powerful car bomb in central Beirut killed Lebanon's former Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri, and 22 o...

© Copyright Notice
Click on link to view the associated photo/image:

We would like to ask you something …

Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.

The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.

In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.

To run such a website is very expensive. With a small donation, you can make a huge impact. And it only takes a minute. Thank you.