Economic Reform Key To Mideast Stability - Un
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Linda Hindi - February 21, 2008 - 6:24pm


Delegates attending a UN conference yesterday stressed economic reform as the key for stability in the occupied territories and the basis for building a foundation for a viable two-state solution. But they added that sustainable growth cannot be achieved without a political settlement.


Abbas Cool To Aide's Call For Kosovo-like Declaration Of Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 20, 2008 - 5:55pm


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, responding to an aide's call on Wednesday for a unilateral declaration of statehood if peace talks with Israel continued to falter, ruled out taking any such step soon. "We will pursue negotiations in order to reach a peace agreement during 2008 that includes the settlement of all final status issues including Jerusalem," Abbas said in a statement.


Kouchner Believes Israelis Heard Him On Settlements, Palestinian Issues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
February 19, 2008 - 5:41pm


French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who returned February 17 after a two-day visit to the Palestinian territories and Israel, believes that he was heard by Israel when he brought up a number of important issues relative to the peace process and Palestinian development, officials here said.


The Us Helps Itself By Helping Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Samir Abdullah - February 12, 2008 - 6:13pm


In his final State of the Union address, US President George W. Bush said he believed that a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal would be a reality by the end of his term. Despite the optimism that his remarks generated in the Palestinian government, the goal of reaching a Palestinian-Israeli agreement by the end of 2008 - which Bush set at the Annapolis summit last year and again during his visit to Ramallah last month - remains subject to question, and this is a matter that merits immediate attention.


Self-defense, Not Occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Sheldon Schreter - (Opinion) February 6, 2008 - 7:03pm


In my January 30 op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, I contended that our settlements weaken rather than strengthen us by seriously eroding both our own and the world's belief in the justice of our cause. That cause is asserting the right of the Jewish people to a sovereign state in their ancient homeland. In over 100 "talkbacks" on jpost.com, letters to the editor, and some personal communications, my views were mostly attacked, though occasionally supported. Let me address some of the criticisms of my argument.


West Bank Economy Shows First Signs Of Growth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Bassem Roomie - February 6, 2008 - 6:57pm


Things feel different these days in Ramallah, the de facto and economic capital of the Palestinian Authority, and its seat of government. The markets are crowded with shoppers. Stores are well-stocked with goods, dozens of brand new cars have appeared on the streets. And all over downtown Ramallah are banners and posters heralding the launching of new businesses—like flowers after rain.


Blair Calls For ‘urgency’ In Mideast Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - February 6, 2008 - 6:57pm


Tony Blair has warned that the current round of Middle East peace talks must be pursued with ”greater urgency and greater focus” if Israelis and Palestinian are to achieve their goal of a peace agreement by the end of the year.


Punishing Gaza Only Harms Those Backing Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) January 30, 2008 - 4:54pm


  When the Gaza Strip was plunged into darkness last week as a result of the Israeli fuel blockade, many people around the world were surprised. But the optimism produced by the Annapolis peace process, which included President George W. Bush's promise of an agreement in 2008 to create a Palestinian state, was clearly unrealistic.


Bush's Delusions Die In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Salon.com
by Gary Kamiya - January 30, 2008 - 4:44pm


It was a heart-wrenching story. Hundreds of thousands of people, trapped for endless years in an open-air jail and recently subjected to an airtight siege, blew up their prison wall and poured out to freedom.


Living With The Breach: Israeli Strategists Weigh Gaza Options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - January 29, 2008 - 5:40pm


The collapse of the border wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt has done much more than break Israel’s siege of the Hamas-run strip. It also has opened up new, far-reaching strategic options for Israel while exposing it to grave new dangers.



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