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Syria Talks Would Mean Golan Withdrawal, says Sharon

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has told members of his country's parliament that peace negotiations with Syria would ultimately result in Israel's withdrawal from the Golan Heights. He did not elaborate on his remark, which came in a meeting Monday of an Israeli parliament (Knesset) committee.

Mr. Sharon has said in the past that he opposes a pullback from the strategic heights that Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 war. A spokesman said Mr. Sharon was asked by a lawmaker at the meeting if it would be a good time to accept Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's offer of talks.

Israel radio said some members of parliament interpreted Mr. Sharon's comments as a warning against an early resumption of negotiations with Syria.

In a newspaper interview last month, Mr. Assad said he wants to resume talks where they broke off in 2000 - with Israel offering to withdraw from most of the Golan Heights. Israel has said there should not be any conditions on new negotiations.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.