The last peace negotiations between Syria and Israel broke down in 2000 over the Golan Heights. A potential stumbling block to their restart is that Syria wants to pick up where they left off, while Israel wants to return to the beginning, with all issues up for negotiation. Israel’s Maariv daily recently reported a secret meeting between President Asad’s brother and an Israeli businessman in Jordan, before the Iraq war began, to discuss reopening peace talks. However, the Syrian Foreign Ministry denied this. ‘It [the Syrian government] has always displayed a willingness to return to negotiations on the ground set through Madrid [1990 peace conference], UN resolutions and the land-for-peace formula,’ Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Buthaina Shaaban told reporters on 7 May. ‘This stance has not changed.’