Analysis: Mideast Diplomacy Gets another Shot
Council on Foreign Relations
March 23, 2007
Prepared by: Eben Kaplan
Enter U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose weekend trip to the region aims to advance the diplomatic process (WashPost), if only incrementally, by holding parallel talks with the Palestinian and Israeli camps. In splitting from Israel’s policy of isolating Palestinians, Rice exposes fissures between Washington and Jerusalem. The Washington Institute’s David Makovsky examines the implications for U.S.-Israeli cooperation.
Rice finds herself among the growing ranks of Western officials interested in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority—though not with members of the Hamas party—bringing to an end a yearlong diplomatic boycott (FT). (U.S. and Israeli officials did meet with President Abbas, but refused to meet representatives of the Hamas-led government.) An International Crisis Group report examines how to engage Hamas after its agreement with Fatah. Such diplomatic efforts leave Israel looking isolated (Guardian). An ISN Security Watch commentary describes Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government as “rudderless.”
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