Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom has called for a new international summit to relaunch the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Shalom is the first minister to endorse the roadmap in some time
He proposed a gathering along the lines of last year's Aqaba summit in Jordan when the "roadmap" was launched.
Mr Shalom also made a direct appeal to Syrian President Bashar Assad to prove his peaceful intentions towards Israel.
He also called on the Syrian authorities to close the headquarters
of militant groups based in Damascus.
Mr Shalom made the comments in a speech at an academic conference in the Israeli town of Herzliya on Wednesday evening.
Is the first time a senior Israeli official has endorsed the roadmap peace plan since Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon put forward his unilateral plan to pull Israeli settlements out of the Gaza Strip and a small part of the West Bank, correspondents say.
Mr Sharon is to address the same conference on Thursday evening.
"The death of Arafat has given us an opportunity for 2005, an opportunity we should not miss," Mr Shalom said.
He called on Palestinians to stop terrorism, and said Israel must do its part in dismantling some settlements and withdrawing its troops to positions held before the start of the intifada in September 2000.
Mahmoud Abbas, the favourite to succeed Yasser Arafat as Palestinian leader, has also spoken in favour of an international conference to re-launch the roadmap. He suggested Cairo.
On Tuesday, Mr Abbas called on Palestinians to end the violence, and to express their opposition to the Israeli occupation through "popular and social means".
Mr Shalom said President Assad could prove his peaceful intentions by returning the remains of Eli Cohen, the Israeli spy executed in Syria in 1965.
"As soon as Syria stops its support of terrorism, we must immediately go to the negotiating table," he said, welcoming recent peace overtures from the Syrian president.
In late November, Mr Assad said he was willing to resume talks with Israel without conditions.
Israeli-Syrian talks collapsed in 2000 after a disagreement about who would control the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 war and subsequently annexed them.