After an initial round in Washington this week, Israel and Syria have agreed to begin intensive talks on January 3 to end the 50-year state of war between the two nations. The two days of talks did not deal with any of the substantial issues, such as borders (especially the Golan Heights), security, water rights, and economic and diplomatic relations. Rather, they were designed as more of an ice-breaker, a talk about talks, and were apparently successful in setting the time and ground rules for more formal, and infinitely more difficult, negotiations. In the end, many analysts hope that the talks will lead to an Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon and the Golan Heights in exchange for security guarantees, water rights, and a comprehensive peace. The sites listed provide information about these important talks.
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