November 28th

The Major Breakthrough: Bush Agrees To Arbiter Role
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - November 28, 2007 - 3:56pm

The most striking concession to emerge from the Palestinian-Israeli talks this week came neither from the Israelis nor the Palestinians, but from the Bush administration. The United States agreed to become the sole arbiter of peace agreements between the sides -- not only an about-face from a seven-year policy of "let the sides duke it out," but an unprecedented venture into waters even the hyper-involved President Clinton feared to enter.

Israel, P.a. Agree To Strive For Accord By End Of 2008
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Barak Ravid - November 28, 2007 - 3:55pm

Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed Tuesday to immediately launch peace negotiations in order to reach an agreement by the end of 2008, President Bush said in his remarks at the Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland. Prior to his prepared address, Bush read a joint statement agreed on by the sides during last-minute negotiations at the summit.

Annapolis: A View From Amman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Open Democracy
by El Hassan Bin Talal - (Commentary) November 28, 2007 - 3:52pm

The middle-east conference to be convened in Annapolis, Maryland on 27 November 2007 must, if it is to be effective, be conceived as a return to a peace-building process whose objective is to realise a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.

After Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) November 28, 2007 - 3:46pm

No document with principles for a peace accord was signed yesterday in Annapolis, Md., where envoys from 46 countries joined Israeli and Palestinian leaders and President Bush at a gathering meant to launch negotiations on a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. So the Annapolis event can only be judged by what follows it. If yesterday's meeting is to become something more than another missed opportunity for Mideast peace, Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans will have to persevere until they forge a just and durable peace agreement.

The Syrian Peace Track
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Baltimore Sun
(Editorial) November 28, 2007 - 3:43pm

Getting representatives from at least a dozen Arab countries to Annapolis today for President Bush's Middle East summit was no small feat considering America's reputation in the region and the unlikely prospect of substantive change in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship. But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice could advance the peace agenda - and her diplomatic credentials - if she secures Syria's involvement in the process beyond the one-day meeting.

History, Mistrust Hobble Mideast Leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Bourdreaux - November 28, 2007 - 3:39pm

The peace talks launched by the Israeli and Palestinian leaders Tuesday face a daunting array of obstacles. They will be overseen by two men who are weakened by extremists at home and speak for peoples whose attitudes toward each other have hardened since the last effort collapsed nearly seven years ago. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, controls only part of his would-be state. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's coalition government faces a threatened walkout by right-wing parties that could bring it down.

Practical Steps Beyond Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Center For Strategic & International Studies
by Haim Malka - (Commentary) November 28, 2007 - 3:37pm

Israeli and Palestinian leaders seeking to resolve their differences in Annapolis may as well meet on the moon. Beyond the wide gaps on the core issues, the Annapolis framework ignores the harsh reality that Hamas is shut out of the process while poised to violently derail the entire effort. It is based on wishful thinking that so-called moderate Palestinian forces will be strong enough to overpower hardliners and enforce a final agreement. Though it has positive elements, the strategy is likely to fail. But progress is possible, and still within reach.

Mideast Peace Gets New Push
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Howard Lafranchi - November 28, 2007 - 3:35pm

Saying "now is precisely the right time to launch" negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, President Bush told the Annapolis peace conference Tuesday that the choice now is stark: between peace based on two democratic states, and extremism and violence.

How Annapolis Helps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) November 28, 2007 - 3:34pm

After watching President Bush earnestly deliver his benediction to the Annapolis peace conference, a caustic English friend likened the scene to one of the durbars held periodically to bolster the British Empire's rule in India. As with the long-ago gatherings of maharajahs, wrote my friend, "so the U.S. has convened its vassals from around the world to witness -- mostly in silence -- a grand event, the import of which is closed to them."

Gathering Israelis And Arabs May Have Been The Real Feat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Michael Abramowitz - November 28, 2007 - 3:33pm

Grinning broadly, President Bush extended his arms around Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and pulled them together for a group photo yesterday on the grounds of the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

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