DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday a list of proposals has been sent to Israel via Turkish mediators aimed at laying the groundwork for direct peace talks between the two foes. French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Tehran that its determination to press on with its controversial nuclear drive risked an Israeli strike that would be a "catastrophe." "We are awaiting Israel's response to six points that we have submitted through Turkey," Assad said at a four-way summit in Damascus with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. "Our response would be positive, paving the way for direct talks after a new US administration that believes in the peace process takes office," he said. Israel and Syria, which have technically been at war for 60 years, launched indirect negotiations brokered by Turkey in May, eight years after talks were frozen over the fate of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Erdogan said on Thursday the new round of indirect talks will be in two weeks. "The process is continuing in a positive manner and the fifth round of talks will be held on September 18-19," he said in remarks from Damascus broadcast on Turkish television. "We are also waiting for the Israeli election to be assured that a new prime minister would be on the same track as Olmert and be ready to completely withdraw from the occupied land in order to achieve peace," Assad said. Sarkozy, who ended a landmark visit to Syria on Thursday, hailed Turkish mediation and said France was set to give any help required for direct peace negotiations. "I told Assad that if the Israelis accept the principles and the direct negotiations begin, France is ready to help diplomatically, politically, economically and militarily," he told the summit. At the summit, Sarkozy warned Tehran that its determination to press on with its controversial nuclear drive risked an Israeli strike that would be a "catastrophe." "Iran is taking a major risk by continuing the process of seeking nuclear technology for military ends," Sarkozy said. "Because one day, no matter which Israeli government is in power, one morning we will awake to find Israel has attacked," Sarkozy said on the second day of a landmark visit to Syria. "It's not a question of whether it is legitimate or intelligent or not... It would be a catastrophe, and we must avoid such a catastrophe."