Direct talks could happen once a new US administration "which believes in the peace process" takes office, he said.
Syria has remained in a state of war with Israel since its 1948 foundation.
Mr Assad was speaking at a four-way summit with the leaders of France and key Middle East mediators Qatar and Turkey.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the revolving EU presidency, said he hoped France and the EU could rank alongside the US as a Middle East peacemaker." BBC
Some years ago there was an attempt to involve the EU in negotiations between Israel and various Arab parties. It failed because of US resistance to the idea. Put plainly, the US and Israel did not want the Europeans involved because Israel would lose its negotiating advantage if that occurred. The Europeans were seen as excessively unbiased.
Has anything changed since then? Yes. The Bush Administration is even more inclined to follow the Israeli "lead" than the Clinton Administration.
Nevetheless, the clear intention of Bashar Assad to negotiate a settlement with Israel should be a hopeful sign.
Would a Palin/McCain Administration follow this line of development to a succesful conclusion giving Israel a better long term chance for life? I doubt it. Why? Just too "bloody minded" for that I think. McCain is in search of enemies against whom to vent his stored up pain. Syria, Iran, the takfiri "boogy men" in South Waziristan, they are all candidates for "bad dog" status.
Would an Obama Administration be any better at finding a future for the Jewish state? That is hard to say. Biden is as much an Israelophile as McCain. Obama? That is an open question. pl