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On Hof's return to Washington, he reported on the outcome of his meetings to Mitchell, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama.Mitchell said efforts to restart the Israeli-Syrian track would continue Thursday when he arrives in Damascus for talks with President Bashar Assad.By Barak Ravid and Zvi Bar'el September 16, 2010 Special U. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell confirmed at a press conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday that the United States is making intense efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and Syria Mitchell said U. President Barack Obama has been briefed on the results of these efforts.Mitchell said Washington did not consider the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations a barrier to Israeli-Syria talks.Turkish sources said Ankara will try to reestablish contacts between Israeli and Syrian officials in the coming months."A diplomatic process in which Turkey participates could significantly dissipate the impact of the flotilla affair on relations between the two countries," a source in Turkey's Foreign Ministry told Haaretz.Also on Wednesday, Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh hit back during a tense meeting of the IAEA board, saying during a heated outburst that the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, had "completely missed the facts," diplomats said.
Davutoglu's latest statements follow a meeting this week between Assad and France's Middle East envoy, Jean-Claude Cousseran, a former French ambassador to Damascus."Relations between Iran and the IAEA are the lowest they've ever been," said one Western diplomat who attended the closed-door session."Soltanieh was shouting," said another, adding Amano had responded calmly to the criticism against him.S., Ahmadinejad said there was no conflict between the two cultures and blamed a small minority of Americans for fueling the rising anger between Muslims and Americans."Their interests lie in creating wars and conflicts," he said. That was an ugly thing, to burn a holy book." Ahmadinejad's comments came a week before he is scheduled to attend the UN General Assembly in New York.
Channel 10 television reported on Tuesday that Hof visited Israel this week and told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Assad wanted to resume talks with Israel without preconditions, but was seeking American assurances that Israel would withdraw from the Golan Heights.