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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israel-Syria Talks Focus on Security

WASHINGTON -- Security issues and peace terms were on the agenda as Israeli and Syrian negotiators divided into working groups Thursday in a second day of talks in eastern Maryland.

Assisted by Dennis Ross and other U.S. mediators, they tried to narrow their differences over how to guard against surprise attacks in the event of peace and the kind of peace Syria would extend to Israel in exchange for Golan Heights territory.

U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher was due to join the talks at the Wye Plantation near Queenstown, Maryland. There was no report of progress in the current round.

Christopher was hoping the participation of two Syrian and two Israeli generals would spur the compromises and tradeoffs that seem necessary for a settlement.

"We can't foresee a specific diplomatic timetable that will lead us to a comprehensive peace agreement," State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Wednesday.