: Syrian and Israeli negotiators will resume peace talks brokered by the United States in eastern Maryland on Wednesday. TIME's Jamil Hamad is skeptical that the talks will yield real progress on the most contentious issue, control of the Golan Heights: "I don't think these negotiations will produce anything of serious consequence. The problem is with the Syrian ruling elite who are concerned about their place in history. This is an obsession among this group, which is headed by Assad. They are afraid of being called traitors for talking with the Israelis. Assad's dilemma is that he does not want to appear to be blocking the peace, but he can't be seen to be bending to the Israelis. Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, on the other hand, needs to establish that he is continuing the peace process. But he's having problems keeping his party together because of the divisiveness of the Golan issue." Talks between Syria and Israel broke down in June because of differences over security arrangements on the Golan Heights as Israel was preparing to withdraw its forces from the area.