JERUSALEM  - Syria's ambassador to the United States on Monday called for ending the "state of war" with longtime foe Israel, weeks after the two states announced the launch of indirect peace talks. "We desire to recognise each other and end the state of war," Imad Mustafa told a gathering of activists in Washington allied with Israel's Peace Now movement, in remarks broadcast on Israeli army radio. "Here is then a grand thing on offer. Let us sit together, let us make peace, let us end once and for all the state of war." He added however that any peace agreement would depend on an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, which the Jewish state occupied in the 1967 war and annexed in 1981. His remarks came just two weeks after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Damascus would establish "normal" relations with Israel, including the opening of embassies, if the Turkish-mediated talks lead to a peace deal. The launch of indirect talks between the two longtime enemies, who have technically been at war since 1948, was revealed in May, following an eight-year freeze in May. The talks had previously foundered in 2000 on the question of the strategic Golan plateau which runs down to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Israel's main source of fresh water, and is currently home to some 20,000 Jewish settlers. Israel has demanded that Syria cut its ties to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, the Palestinian Hamas movement, and other armed groups pledged to the Jewish state's demise, as well as distance itself from Iran.