Israel and Syria have ended their talks for the year after an unprecedented meeting between senior military officers from the two sides. They will resume their search for a peace treaty after the New Year.

Military commanders joined negotiations between Ambassadors Itamar Rabinovich of Israel and Walid al-Moualem of Syria here last Thursday. The Israeli generals then went home and Israeli officials said Sunday the ambassadors were expected to meet again after New Year's.The official Syrian Arab News Agency said Gen. Hikmat Shehabi and his Israeli counterpart, Gen. Ehud Barak, participated in Thursday's talks "which ended without any tangible results."

It was the first time that Syria has acknowledged Shehabi's presence in Washington for the talks. It also was the first known meeting between such high-ranking Syrian and Israeli officials since the peace effort began under U.S. and Russian sponsorship in 1991.

SANA said the discussion focused on "security arrangements" along the Syrian-Israeli border.

The meeting had been arranged by the United States, which "had hoped that this exchange of ideas would help bridge the gap and eliminate some of the obstacles blocking the resumption of negotiations on Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks of the peace process," said SANA.

"But regrettably, the Israeli side continued to make impossible demands," it added, without giving details.