The grand bargain that is the Mideast’s best hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Shai Feldman, Gilead Sher - (Opinion) August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Saudi Arabia recently rejected America’s request that it reciprocate an Israeli freeze on settlement construction by beginning to normalise relations with the Jewish state. “Incrementalism and a step-by-step approach, has not and, we believe, will not lead to peace. Temporary security and confidence-building measures will also not bring peace,” Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said in Washington on July 31.

Report: Obama, Mubarak to discuss compensation for refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - August 18, 2009 - 12:00am

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his American counterpart, Barack Obama, are expected during their White House meeting Tuesday to discuss "an initiative of leaders" for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East, in which the Palestinians will waive the right of return in exchange for compensation, the London-based Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported Tuesday.

Egypt's Essential Partnership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Abdel-Moneim Said - (Opinion) August 18, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama's second meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, scheduled to take place today, presents an opportunity to view this important bilateral relationship from a proper perspective. For too long, U.S.-Egyptian relations have focused, somewhat myopically, on only two things: the state of Egypt's peace with Israel and its progress toward democratization.

Obama Sees ‘Positive Steps’ in Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner, David Stout - August 18, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama said Tuesday that he saw “movement in the right direction” on the thorny issue of Israeli settlement construction in Palestinian areas, and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, a visitor to the White House, said prospects for restarting Middle East peace talks were good.

Mubarak to Tell U.S. Israel Must Make Overture
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman - August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

In White House meetings beginning Monday, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is expected to tell the Obama administration that Arab nations want peace, but are unwilling to abide Mr. Obama’s call to make good-faith concessions to Israel until Israel takes tangible steps like freezing settlements, an Egyptian official said.

Mubarak firm on Arab-Israeli ties
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said Arab states would recognise Israel and normalise ties, but only as part of a comprehensive peace deal. Mr Mubarak is currently in Washington for talks with US officials. The US is asking Arab states to begin normalising ties in return for a proposed temporary freeze in settlement building on the occupied West Bank. But he said states which had trade ties with Israel might consider reviving them if it resumed peace negotiations.

U.S. Jews press Mubarak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Jewish leaders urged Egypt's president to take the lead in encouraging other Arab nations to make conciliatory gestures to Israel. Hosni Mubarak is in Washington this week to meet with President Obama and advance plans to revive the peace process. Mubarak met Monday morning with an array of leaders from Jewish groups who told him that conciliatory measures from Arab nations, including allowing Israeli overflights and expanding business ties, would help Israel make concessions. Arab states and the Palestinians first want Israel to commit to a settlement freeze.

Oman, Qatar: We'll renew Israel ties if it freezes settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States told Israel last week that Gulf states Oman and Qatar are willing to renew their relations with Israel if it agrees to a moratorium on construction in the West Bank, Haaretz has learned. The Obama administration has been pushing for a construction freeze in the West Bank settlements, which are illegal under international law. President Barack Obama's demand has been repeatedly rejected by Israel's government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to resume negotiations until Israel complies with a freeze.

J'lem not counting on Gulf states' gestures
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - August 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The winds of change blowing in from the Gulf are being received coldly in Jerusalem. According to a message recently relayed from Washington, Qatar and Oman may be willing to renew relations with Israel if the latter freezes construction in West Bank settlements. But as there has been no progress in talks with the US regarding its demand to halt construction, Israeli officials say these are premature promises, and that no significant change in ties should be expected in the near future.

What is Required of the Obama Administration Today…
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Opinion) August 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The Barack Obama Administration behaved naively when, in demanding that both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict fulfill their commitments, it forcefully introduced the idea of the Arabs offering the Israeli government a reward or a bribe to stop violating international law and freeze illegal settlement-building, by taking step towards normalization that would be linked or would coincide with freezing Israeli settlement activity.

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