PM Denies Talk of Ceding Golan

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office refuted an Army Radio report Wednesday that said Olmert agreed to cede the Golan Heights in order to open direct talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

According to the report, the prime minister would ask Syria to sever its ties with Iran and with Hezbollah and Hamas, two terror groups funded, armed and trained by the Islamic Republic.

Likud MK (member of Knesset) Yisrael Katz told Army Radio that Olmert was ready to make "painful concessions" to open direct talks with Syria instead of the third-party negotiations mediated by Turkey.

Meanwhile in Teheran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem that Iran would continue to strengthen its ties with Syria.

"The deeper our regional cooperation is, the more beneficial this will be to the nations in the area and the more this will impair our enemies," Ahmadinejad said.

"All of the US plans against Lebanon and Syria have failed," he said. "[America] is in the worst situation it has ever been in," the Iranian president said.

"Fortunately, Iran and Syria see things as they are and stand by each other, invoking much disappointment from the enemies," he said.

"The Zionist regime and America are interested in making concessions when they are already retreating; therefore, we must be alert to the enemies' ploys," he said.

Syria's foreign minister was quoted on Iran's state-run IRNA news agency saying that his country "is doing everything in its power to ensure the success of our talks with Israel."

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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