Thursday, April 05, 2007

Missed opportunity for peace

Afif sends this item. The assessment of our Washington meeting this past week (which Afif attended) was rather different from that by Mr Novak (below). Our conclusion was that though Bush would initiate nothing himself, he would buy in to anything initiated by one of his allies (UK / Israel / Japan etc.):

JERUSALEM -- An overriding melancholy here this Holy Week follows Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's mission to Jerusalem last week. To Arabs and Jews seeking meaningful peace negotiations, it confirmed that no progress toward a two-state solution is likely for the remainder of George W. Bush's presidency.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected Rice's offer to participate in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for a permanent peace treaty. The word in the Olmert government is that the prime minister's reluctance even to begin talks at this time is fully shared by Bush. Rice is sincere in her desire for peace, but she can accomplish nothing important without the full support of her chief.

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