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Olmert, Assad could meet in Paris

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June 18, 2008 04:50 AM EST | AP


PARIS — France's top presidential aide says the leaders of Israel and Syria could meet next month in Paris.

Claude Gueant says Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has recommended that he and Syrian President Bashar Assad hold "direct contacts" at a July 13 summit.

The chief of staff for President Nicolas Sarkozy told Europe-1 radio Wednesday that both Olmert and Assad are to attend the summit of the Mediterranean Union. He said he didn't know whether Assad would stay for a Bastille Day military parade a day later.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said Assad and Israeli President Shimon Peres would be "at the same table" at the meeting.

Israel and Syria recently renewed contacts in Turkish-mediated talks.