Mushroom Soup On The Road To Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) November 22, 2007 - 10:44pm

There is something unconvincing, even insincere, about the tentative steps and gestures being made by the parties trying to arrange the meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, next week to re-launch Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. It is hard to generate any real anticipation from a process in which the principal Israeli and Palestinian parties are politically weak, the American hosts are imprecise and hesitant, the supporting Arab state actors are playing hard to get, and the agenda is as clear as mushroom soup.

Proceed Steadily But Firmly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Miftah
by Caelum Moffatt - November 22, 2007 - 10:41pm

After seven years of stalled negotiations between Israel and Palestine, one could possibly not presume that all problems would be solved by one summit, let alone a summit that had been penciled in just as the two old enemies had reconvened dialogue.

Reinventing The Mideast Wheel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) November 22, 2007 - 10:40pm

It is infuriating when one spends hours reviewing all the give-and-take about the perfunctory meeting in Annapolis next week to kick-start Palestinian-Israeli negotiations for a final settlement only to realise that one does not need to reinvent the wheel. All that needs to be done is there and has been available for more than 40 years!

The Measure Of Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Lorna Fitzsimons - (Commentary) November 22, 2007 - 10:38pm

Jerusalem is buzzing with activity. There is anxious speculation about the status of the joint Israeli-Palestinian declaration intended to be the centrepiece of next week's meeting in Annapolis, Maryland. Israel has announced a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are deploying troops in Nablus. With the invitations now finally issued, eyes are on who will attend - and at what level. Visiting dignitaries are doing the rounds, keen to avoid failure by showing their support. The Israeli-Palestinian peace circus is back in town.

Analysis: The Possibilities Of Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Jeremy Bowen - (Opinion) November 22, 2007 - 10:36pm

The other day in Washington a colleague of mine asked the White House press secretary what journalists should call the Middle Eastern event that is about to happen in Annapolis. The press secretary did not offer any advice. An aide suggested "get together". Maybe the aide was being mischievous. But words like summit or peace conference are being discouraged. Expectations for the meeting in Annapolis are being minimised. If you want to be right about the Middle East, it usually pays to be pessimistic.

Palestinians Spell Out Their Vision Of The Future In Peace Blueprint
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - November 22, 2007 - 10:34pm

Sweeping security, fiscal and political reforms are promised in the most detailed blueprint for the creation of a Palestinian state yet drawn up by the emergency government headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayad.

Likudnik Hawks Work To Undermine Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Jim Lobe - November 22, 2007 - 10:32pm

Despite near-universal scepticism about the prospects for launching a serious, new Middle East peace process at next week's Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, a familiar clutch of neo-conservative hawks close to the Likud Party leader, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, isn't taking any chances.

How Rice Can Improve Her Odds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Daniel Kurtzer - November 22, 2007 - 10:31pm

Condoleezza Rice is playing a high-stakes game of diplomacy. After cautious bets during her first three years as secretary of state, she is going all-in on a summit meeting at Annapolis to launch final status negotiations. Her odds of winning are low, and she knows it. But those odds can start moving in her favor if she draws the right lessons from U.S. diplomatic experience in the Israeli-Arab peace process. Having led a study group on this for the past year, the results of which the United States Institute of Peace will soon publish, we can offer the following tips:

If Annapolis Fails, What Then?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - (Opinion) November 22, 2007 - 10:27pm

Days away from the Annapolis peace parley, the glaring weaknesses of both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are raising significant questions about the long-term viability of the renewed peace process and the consequences of failure. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who may have wanted to use the conference as a dramatic breakthrough in peacemaking with the Palestinians, finds his hands tied by hawks in his coalition government.

Israel Prodded Into Settlement Freeze In Bid To Kick-start Peace Conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - November 22, 2007 - 10:26pm

With only days remaining before a peace summit scheduled for next week in Annapolis, Md., the Bush administration is pressuring Israel to take significant steps to curb settlement expansion in the West Bank.

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