Monday, November 20, 2006

US promoting an international conference on Palestine, to strengthen Abbas and weaken Hamas

The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported yesterday (Sunday November 19) that there are secret talks going on between Washington and Tel Aviv aimed at setting up an international conference to try and revive the Palestinian peace process, based on the "road-map". The following is from a summary in Al-Quds al-Arabi, which it in turn attributes it to the Tel Aviv bureau of UPI.

A major US aim is to improve its image in the Middle East. The conference would include Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, in addition to the Palestinians and Israelis, and the overall concept for the US is to make this part of its hoped-for alliance of "moderate Arab states and Israel". For road-map fans, the technical aim of the conference will be implementation of phase two of the read-map, involving establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders. This would be followed by more "convergence" (getting rid of Israeli settlements outside the proposed borders), and eventually a Palestinian state with permanent borders.

The report says this is going to involve additional efforts to fend off Hamas and Hizbullah, and to strengthen Abbas with "abundant financing and power". The report says Saudi Arabia has already agreed not only to attent the conference, but also to provide a lot of financing for Abbas.

Finally, according to this summary, the US is described as concerned about weakness in the regimes of Prime Minister Siniora in Lebanon and president Abbas in Palestine, and this was a motivating factor for the Palestine-conference initiative.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is mentioned admiringly as an alternative reading on Iraq by the very serious scholar, Dr. Reidar Visser, on his own blog,
Well done!

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations! and in a very short time too.

12:19 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Thanks, I hadn't noticed that.
I guess I'm in good company.

(Anonymous is referring to an essay that Visser posted today, available at his website today November 20. It is a very powerful thing. He quotes from newspaper interview remarks by three citizens of Basra who think the current push for federalism is unwise, mainly because in the current circumstances it cannot fail to feed the flames of sectarianism, which is not what is needed.

"To many Western analysts, Visser writes, these three citizens of Basra do not really exist....Any 'Dayton-style conference' (referring to the federalism proposal) that fails to include representatives of this kind of Iraqi patriotism will constitute a cheap sell-out--a surrender to the forces of terrorism, xenophobia, and ignorance."

12:24 PM  
Blogger markfromireland said...

Mabruk :-)

1:22 PM  
Blogger badger said...


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