DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A Syrian official has refuted the Kuwait newspaper al-Rai report that Washington is secretly engaged in talks with Damascus to renew peace with Israel.
SANA, the state-run Syrian news agency quoted a "well informed Syrian source" calling the Kuwaiti newspaper report "baseless and unfounded."
The Kuwaiti newspaper said Saturday that Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moalem signaled to the United States two weeks ago that "Syrians are ready to reopen direct talks with Israel and reach peace," Ynetnews.com said.
Al-Rai also said U.S. government official Dennis Ross reportedly said he had discerned unprecedented Syrian willingness to distance itself from Iran, cool ties with Hezbollah and Hamas, and cooperate with the United States in its war against terror, the Israeli Web site said.
When asked to comment on the Kuwaiti newspaper report, Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon told The Jerusalem Post, that unlike his father, Syrian President Bashar Assad does not see the road to Washington running through Jerusalem.
"There are tremendous differences between Bashar Assad and his father. Hafez Assad lived in a unipolar world and knew the road to Washington ran through Jerusalem. Bashar Assad does not live in a unipolar world, and he prefers Tehran over Washington. He also is not convinced that the road to Washington runs through Jerusalem," Ya'alon told the English language daily.