January 16, 2007


Mideast leaders agree to meeting: Olmert and Abbas will hold talks with Rice next month about final steps toward peace and a Palestinian state. (Paul Richter and Richard Boudreaux, January 16, 2007, LA Times)

Seeking a fresh start for stalled Mideast peace efforts, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday won promises from the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to meet with her next month for their first discussion of a final peace deal in more than six years. [...]

U.S. officials believe that by shifting the focus to what the outcome would look like, they could galvanize a process that has been bogged down for four years in discussion of difficult preliminary issues. [...]

The goal is to move the two sides toward such "final-status" issues as the shape of the new Palestinian state, the claims of Palestinian refugees to return to sites now in Israel, and the fate of Jerusalem.

New momentum would help build Palestinian support for the moderate, politically weak Abbas, and would encourage Arab governments to provide crucial help to the United States in its efforts to pacify Iraq and contain Iran's influence.

Invite Hamas too and present the Palestinians with a state.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 16, 2007 9:41 AM
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