The Generals Of Professor Rice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - January 15, 2008 - 6:04pm

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the main impetus in the Bush administration for squeezing something out of the 2008 drought year, convinced the president to break from his principle of linkage - the basis of his road map - and skip to the final stage, the final status framework. This is a concession to Palestinian demands, and a further reversal for the Israeli position since Yasser Arafat opened fire in September 2000 and frightened Israel with the possibility that he might declare an independent state unilaterally (the "Magic Melody" scenario).

Diplomat: U.s. Firmly Opposes All W. Bank, E. J'lem Construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 15, 2008 - 6:03pm

The United States clarified to Israel during U.S. President George Bush's visit this week that it disapproves of all building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank - including in the large settlement blocs, a senior Western diplomat said Tuesday. The diplomat added that Israel and the U.S. differ on their interpretation of the letter President Bush sent to former prime minister Ariel Sharon in April, 2004.

Peace Now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) January 15, 2008 - 6:00pm

Our region is not short of bloodshed and instability. Iraq, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territories and Afghanistan are all scenes of past and present conflicts where largely innocent blood has flowed in plenty. We do not need yet another dangerous conflict.

America Must Listen To Its Friends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) January 15, 2008 - 5:59pm

America has to learn to listen to its friends in the Middle East, and should stop lecturing them from a prepared script. George W. Bush's historic visit to the region is the first time a sitting US president has come to the UAE, and it has given him a tremendous opportunity to hear from the leaders and the people of the region how to tackle the region's serious issues.

Let's Not Forget The Hardship In Palestinian Areas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Douglas Alexander - (Commentary) January 15, 2008 - 5:59pm

Politics isn't just about words and ideas; it has to be about action. The recently held Palestinian donors' conference in Paris was a day when the international community collectively put its money where its mouth is and committed the funds which are desperately needed if the Palestinians are to rebuild their economy and take further strides down the road to peace.

Israeli Troops Kill Hamas Chief's Son
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - January 15, 2008 - 5:57pm

Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians in an intense battle today, including the son of Mahmoud Zahar, the hardline leader of Hamas. A Palestinian sniper also shot dead a volunteer from Ecuador who was working on a communal farm near the volatile coastal territory. The latest clashes were the most intense since the recent visit by President Bush to push Israel and the Palestinians towards renewed peace talks, and threatened to undermine negotiations.

Bush Urges More Democracy In Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Speigel International
by Bernhard Zand - January 15, 2008 - 5:56pm

He could have held his great Middle East speech in Iraq, the country that he freed from tyranny. Or in the Palestinian Territories, where voters headed to the ballot boxes en masse two years ago. He could even have delivered his comments in Lebanon, where the Cedar Revolution three years ago seemed to bring his dream of a democratic Middle East within reach.

Bush Seeks Saudi Support For Fragile Middle East Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - January 15, 2008 - 5:55pm

President George Bush was last night working to persuade Saudi Arabia to maintain its support for a revived, but fragile, Israeli-Palestinian peace process and to confront Iran across the Middle East. Arriving in Riyadh on the penultimate stage of his regional tour, Bush went into talks with King Abdullah as the administration prepared to notify Congress of a $20bn (£10.2bn) arms package for the Saudis - satellite-guided weaponry and other high-tech munitions - highlighting the oil-rich kingdom's privileged relationship with Washington.

Bush Changes Tone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
(Editorial) January 15, 2008 - 5:54pm

President George W. Bush is coming to the end of his first extensive trip to the Middle East. The journey has crystallised the recent adjustment in US policy in the region. Until some months ago, Mr Bush was marked by his belligerent neo-conservatism, hollering for dem­ocracy to take root in Arab states while refraining from pushing peace between Israel and the Palestinians. His approach has changed – but doubts persist over what he can achieve in his final year.

Maria Appakova
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
January 15, 2008 - 5:52pm

After his talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah, U.S. President George W. Bush said that an Arab-Israeli peace agreement would be reached by the end of the year. He was less optimistic of a settlement within Palestine; and he was unsure that the Palestinian president would be able to resolve the problem anytime soon.

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