Six Signs for the Forthcoming Washington Negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Mamoun Fandy - (Opinion) August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

When the US President, through his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, invites the Israelis and the Palestinians to hold direct negotiations under the auspices of the United States, and the International Quartet (of the EU, Russia, the United States, and the United Nations), then this is something that is worthy of interest and analysis of the hidden meanings and messages, for even if this does not benefit our understanding in this round [of negotiations] it could benefit us in future rounds.

Mideast talks offer promise, peril for Obama
Media Mention of ATFP In Politico - August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement Friday of new direct Middle East peace talks will renew the sense of opportunity that had faded as the regional stalemate hardened. But the talks also renew the political peril for President Barack Obama, who once again is in the position of pledging progress that's easier to promise than to deliver.

Washington Watch: An inauspicious beginning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by D. Bloomfield - (Opinion) August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

No sooner had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the resumption of Mideast peace talks “without preconditions” than the Palestinians threatened to walk out, nearly two weeks before they were even scheduled to begin, unless their conditions were met. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who constantly kvetched that everyone in the world, particularly his Arab brethren, was pressuring him to sit down with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, demanded all Jewish construction in territories he wants for a Palestinian state be frozen before he’d talk.

Israel Refuses Blair Request to Up Electricity to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has balked at a request to boost the amount of electricity it supplies to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on grounds that it didn’t want to cooperate with “a terror organization.” Quartet Representative Tony Blair made the request Monday to Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, Blaire’s spokesman confirmed to The Media Line.

Mash'al: Talks will eliminate Palestinian cause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mash'al said a return to direct negotiations with Israel was "nationally illegitimate, carried out by force and American summons," on Tuesday. Mash'al, speaking at an iftar dinner held for journalists in Damascus, said the PLO Executive Committee's decision to endorse the talks was "an echo of Washington's orders," adding that consensus was not reached among Palestinian factions, with most of the 11 parties making up the PLO opposing a return to talks with Israel.

Direct talks, yes, but with state-building too
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - August 24, 2010 - 12:00am

The resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in early September offers significant opportunities and pitfalls for all parties. For the Obama administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement of the talks represents the culmination of almost a year of intensive diplomacy. Whether or not the United States has a backup plan if talks founder is entirely unclear. The administration’s assumption appears to be that direct talks will generate their own dynamics; but if they don’t, it’s not evident what the next American step will be.

Peace talks are doomed before they even begin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
August 23, 2010 - 12:00am

In theory, the premise of the direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis is almost utopian. According to the brief, released by the Quartet — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — the negotiations would last for one year and are supposed to "resolve all final status issues".

Talks ‘Doable,’ Says Palestinian Official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - August 23, 2010 - 12:00am

The chief Palestinian negotiator said Monday that he believed reaching an agreement with Israel within a year was “doable,” echoing remarks by the Israeli prime minister a day earlier that a peace agreement would be difficult but “possible.” But the otherwise sharply differing declarations presented as the basis for going into the direct talks, scheduled to start in Washington on Sept. 2, reflect the complexity of the effort required to get the two sides to this point, and the daunting challenges that lie ahead.

WEST BANK: Big obstacles in road to direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Blog) August 23, 2010 - 12:00am

Even before direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations kick off in Washington on Sept. 2, the road there is littered with political landmines. The Palestinians stated when they agreed on Friday, under U.S. and international pressure, to resume direct negotiations that if Israel resumed settlement construction in the West Bank, the talks would stop.

Mideast Quartet sees treaty deal within a year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 20, 2010 - 12:00am

A Middle East treaty creating a Palestinian state at peace with Israel can be completed in one year of negotiations, say major powers who were due on Friday to invite both parties to start talks in two weeks. The Quartet -- the United States, European Union, Russia and United Nations -- were due to issue a statement later on Friday confirming that President Barack Obama would invite the Palestinian and Israel leaders to Washington on Sept 2.

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