ISRAEL has offered new proposals to Syria to try to break a five-month deadlock in peace negotiations, the Israeli Foreign Minister said yesterday. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres gave few specifics but told Israeli radio that the offer included ``security, peace, and withdrawal.''
In exchange for peace, Syria wants a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War. Israel wants a staged pullback after its security has been guaranteed and diplomatic ties are established.
On Israeli radio, Mr. Peres urged Syria to agree to direct high-level talks rather than working only through United States mediation. He called for secret contacts ``away from the eye of the media.'' Secretary of State Warren Christopher is expected to return to the region on July 10 for another attempt at getting an Israel-Syria agreement.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who warned Wednesday that war could erupt in three to seven years with Syria unless peace is reached, told Army radio yesterday that Israel was ready to ``make painful compromises'' for peace. He assailed right-wing leaders who have said Arab nations ``no longer have a military option'' and recalled the 1973 October war, which took Israel by surprise.
Peace talks with Syria were suspended in February. South Yemen said to repel northern attack
SOUTHERN Yemeni forces reportedly thwarted a rocket attack by northern forces against the besieged southern stronghold of Aden at dawn yesterday.
In the eighth week of renewed fighting, Aden radio said its antiaircraft defenses shot down one missile. It said a second missile exploded in a residential area, wounding three people. Quoting military sources, it said earlier that northern forces unleashed a barrage of artillery and rocket fire on the city Wednesday.
Yemen fell apart when war erupted on May 4. Southern leader Ali Salim al-Beidh has vowed never to reunite with the north. Mr. Beidh's defiant stand appeared to rule out any negotiated settlement or reconciliation following the collapse of United Nations mediation efforts several days ago.