Peace problems in Middle East

November 27, 2007 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

How can Israel and the Palestinian Authority settle their differences and live in a peaceful partnership?

If President Bush wants to assist in this endeavor, Tuesday’s meeting in Annapolis between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was an encouraging start; the sides agreed to continue talks on Dec. 12.

Abbas has lasted in power for over two years, but it is unclear how much authority will stand behind anything he agrees to. The influence of Hamas cannot be ignored in these deliberations, and its absence at the talks suggests that Abbas’ ability to speak for the people he represents is limited at best. Hamas leaders, the AP reported, “labeled Abbas a traitor for coming to the meeting, and vowed to reject any decisions to come out of the conference.”

It is also unclear what — if anything — he will agree to. “In his talk,” the AP reported, “Abbas gave no indication that the Palestinians were willing to concede on any of the flashpoint issues that have derailed previous peace efforts: the status of disputed Jerusalem, refugees, the borders of an independent Palestine and Israeli settlements. ”

 We’ll see if President Bush can succeed in resolving these thus-far intractable issues.

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Entry filed under: international politics, Israel, news, Palestine, Politics, President Bush. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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