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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Backs Syrians

DAMASCUS, Syria -- Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has voiced support for Syria's demands that peace talks with Israel, broken since 1996, start from the point where they left off.

"Russia as a co-sponsor of the Arab-Israeli peace talks along with the U.S. supports the resumption of the negotiations on all tracks," Ivanov told reporters Saturday on arrival in Damascus at the end of a regional tour.

"It is impossible to achieve permanent peace in the Middle East without Syria. Negotiations should resume from the point where they left off," he said.

Syria says the previous Labor-led Israeli government agreed during the talks to withdraw fully from the Golan Heights, captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud party beat the Labor in Israel's May 1996 elections, says talks should resume without conditions.