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Syria, which had recently suggested renewed negotiations, rejected the Israeli conditions as "unacceptable".

Hamas and Islamic Jihad both have headquarters in Damascus.

"I would not advise Israel entering into a system of dialogue with the Syrians when all the terror groups are operating there", said Mr Sharon.

Only when conditions were ripe, Mr Sharon told reporters, would he meet with his Syrian counterpart.
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The last sentence of the above is flawed. What do you think?

It should be the following:

Only when conditions were ripe, Mr Sharon told reporters, he would meet with his Syrian counterpart.
Comments  
no. when "only" comes before certain words like "if, when, after etc." the main clause becomes inverted.
seyfihoca

I can't take in your point. What is the inversion here?
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Only if the pear were ripe would he eat it.

NOT *Only if the pear were ripe he would eat it.
Only when conditions were ripe, Mr Sharon told reporters, would he meet with his Syrian counterpart.


This, above, is reported speech, Andrei. Imagine that the following is a direct quote. As was noted, sometimes S-V inversion occurs. Note the differences below.

Mr Sharon: "Only when conditions are ripe will I meet with my Syrian counterpart."

OR

Mr Sharon: "I will meet with my Syrian counterpart only when conditions are ripe."
I thank 3 of you for the replies. I did some search in Google on the topic of inversion.

This is not in regular English. This is chiefly formal language. This means you don't write such English in your day to day work.

Would you agree?
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The following from their website.

In formal English, it is quite common to use inversion after negative adverbial expressions and restrictive words such as only, never, hardly and little.

*
At no time did he get permission for what he was doing.
*
Not until the next morning did she realise how serious it was.
*
Only later did they learn his terrible secret.
*
Never before have I seen such awful behaviour.
*
Hardly had we walked in the door when the phone started ringing.
*
Little do you know how much trouble you are in.
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This is not in regular English. This is chiefly formal language. This means you don't write such English in your day to day work.

Would you agree?


NO!!!

I hear and say such things every day, especially "at no time did he ..." and "little did he know ..."!