Reports have been circulating recently that Syrian and Israeli officials held a negotiation last month at the Russian airbase in Hmeimim, Syria.
Accordig to the reports, the meeting included Syrian national security bureau chief Ali Mamlouk, presidential palace security aide Bassam Hassan, Israel’s former Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and commander of Russian forces in Syria, Alexander Chayko.
The Syrian officials demanded that their country’s return to the Arab League be facilitated and that it receive financial aid to pay debts to Iran. They also called for lifting western sanctions on Damascus.
Israel demanded that Hezbollah, Iran and Iranian militias be withdrawn completely from Syria, that a Syrian government that includes opposition figures be formed, and that the military be restructured.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has denied reports about its alleged contacts with Israel, reiterating its stance on “Israeli occupiers.”
“The Syrian Arab Republic completely refutes the false reports that have emerged in some media about meetings between Syria and Israel and states that the publication of such reports is an unsuccessful attempt by the sponsors of these media outlets to sow confusion in Syria’s firm positions on Israeli occupiers,” the ministry said on Tuesday.
The Russia-sponsored meeting tackled several issues, including Israel’s demand for Iran to pull out its militias from Syria, said the Jusoor for Studies website.
It further reaffirmed Damascus’ clear and unchanged policy toward Israel, saying that this line pursues national interests, a solution to the Palestinian issue, and the complete liberation of the “occupied” Golan Heights.
“The forces behind this media hoax are the same that help normalizes the Arab world’s relations with this entity Israel and try to drag the entire region into the West-Zionist union, using intimidation or bribery. And when their primitive methods fail, they resort to media hoaxes,” the statement added.
Syria and Israel have been at war since the establishment of the Jewish state and have never had diplomatic relations.