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In-Depth Coverage
West Bank/Gaza
Middle East Peace Process
U.S. Middle East Policy
Original Commentaries
The Critical Role of Palestinian State-Building  —
Examining the P5+1-Iran Talks in Context  —Karim Sadjadpour, associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Interview with Middle East Bulletin
Egyptians and Jordanians Head to the Polls  —
Setting the Record Straight
Determined to Reach a Common Objective
“We knew at the outset that the task would be difficult. We acknowledged that publicly and privately. We knew this would be a road with many bumps— and there have been many bumps—and that continues to this day. But we are not deterred. We are, to the contrary, determined more than ever to proceed to realize the common objective, which we all share, of a Middle East that is at peace with security and prosperity for the people of Israel, for Palestinians, and for all the people in the region. We will continue our efforts in that regard, undeterred and undaunted by the difficulties, the complexities or the bumps in the road.”—George Mitchell, special envoy for Middle East peace, remarks with Prime Minister Netanyahu, September 29, 2010
Middle East Analysis
Netanyahu’s Moves Spark Debate on Intentions — Ethan Bronner (The New York Times)
Palestinian Dream City Hits Snag From Israel — Ben Hubbard (The Associated Press)
No to a Third Intifada — Hussein Ibish, senior fellow, American Task Force on Palestine (Common Ground News Service)
Upcoming Events
The Road Forward on Middle East Peace
Event: October 1, 2009 - 12:00pm-1:00pm
Winnie Stachelberg, Senior Vice President for External Affairs, Center for American Progress
Featured speaker:
Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL)
Moderated by:
Moran Banai, U.S. Editor of Middle East Bulletin
The Road Forward Towards Middle East Peace
Palestinian worker in stone and marble factory outside Bethlehem
The Critical Role of Palestinian State-Building
On December 10, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined efforts necessary to achieving Middle East peace. She called on the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to address the core issues of the conflict, and said that the United States would work with both parties towards this end. In addition, Clinton mentioned the need for regional states to continue to develop the Arab Peace Initiative, and stressed the importance of the Palestinian Authority (PA) state-building program while underscoring the U.S. continued commitment to this effort. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad explained the reasoning behind the state-building program in a recent article in Foreign Policy.

Following Clinton’s speech, Robert Danin, former head of the office of the Quartet Representative, wrote an article that examined the state-building effort in the context of previous Palestinian movements and in the current environment. The article also offered recommendations for how to expand the state-building program in order to further improve conditions on the ground and to create the conditions necessary for a secure and sustainable peace.

Middle East Bulletin (MEB) interviewed Danin in September during which he provided an assessment of the progress of the state-building program and responded to criticism of the efforts, among other topics. MEB has provided basic overviews of the PA state-building efforts in its backgrounders, as well as updates on Palestinian security sector development and highlights of leading Palestinian businessmen’s recommendations to jump-start their economy.
Background Basics
Understanding the Arab League Follow-Up Committee
Official Name: League of Arab States’ Follow-Up Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative
Members: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the Secretary General of the Arab League
Origins and Mandate: Members of the Arab League adopted the Arab Peace Initiative at the 2002 Beirut Summit. The document mentioned the need to form a separate, smaller committee to gather support for the plan. Later, two groups were formed to that end: the follow-up
Efforts Toward Middle East Peace Post-1991 Madrid Conference
In October 1991, the United States and Soviet Union co-sponsored a peace summit in Madrid that included representatives from the European Community, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. The Arab Maghreb Union, Gulf Cooperation Council and UN were observers to the talks. The conference served as the starting point for a series of negotiating tracks between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries.
Israeli-Palestinian Track
Concurrent to the official bilateral talks, Israelis and Palestinians began unofficial
U.S. Administration Efforts Toward Middle East Peace, March-July
Top-Down Track
Proximity Talks
Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell is concluding his sixth round of talks this week, which have included meetings with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. Plans for proximity talks were announced in March, but the first round did not begin
Overview of Recent World Bank Report on Palestinian Economy and State
On April 13, the World Bank presented a report, “Towards a Palestinian State: Reforms for Fiscal Strengthening” to the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee in Madrid, Spain.
The World Bank identifies fiscal strengthening as a critical area for PA reform to ensure the sustainability of a future Palestinian state. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been working toward this goal with the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP), which was presented in August 2009.
Current Situation: The report discusses the economic state of the
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