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Middle East Peace Process
U.S. Middle East Policy
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
No to a Third Intifada — Hussein Ibish, senior fellow, American Task Force on Palestine (Common Ground News Service)
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
Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL)
Moran Banai, U.S. Editor of Middle East Bulletin
Original Commentary | Dec 22, 2010
Palestinian worker in stone and marble factory outside Bethlehem
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
Original Commentary | Dec 6, 2010
P5+1-Iran Meeting in Geneva (AP)
The P5+1 is currently holding its first meetings with Iran in more than one year. What do you think are the objectives of the two sides in these meetings?
The objective of the P5+1, particularly the United States and Europe, is to commence a process whereby Iran would eventually, in the near term, agree to meaningful and binding nuclear compromises and greater transparency. Whereas in previous discussions the goal of the United States was for Tehran to cease uranium enrichment, I
Original Commentary | Dec 1, 2010
President Mubarak votes in Egyptian parliamentary election (AP)
Recent elections in Jordan and Egypt have taken center stage. On November 9, Jordan held parliamentary elections
where nearly 53 percent of eligible voters turned out to vote. Opposition parties fared poorly
in the elections, some of which boycotted the elections in response to the passing of a new election law
in May. The law
, which created a new districting system, led some candidates with fewer votes to gain a seat in Parliament while others with
Original Commentary | Nov 17, 2010
Secretary of State Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu at their recent meeting in New York (AP)
On November 11, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met
with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York. Reports suggest
that the meeting helped pave the way for a U.S.-Israel agreement whereby the United States would provide Israel with incentives to extend a one-off settlement moratorium for 90 days. Construction in East Jerusalem would reportedly
not be included in the extension. Reported incentives include
the United States giving Israel 20 additional F-35 fighter jets worth about
Original Commentary | Nov 12, 2010
Afghanistan peace council inaugural session (AP)
Middle East Bulletin interview with Caroline Wadhams, director for South Asia Security Studies, Center for American Progress.
You recently returned from a NATO-led trip to Afghanistan. What were the key lessons learned from the trip?
There were a few key takeaways from the trip. First, I saw just how extensive our footprint is in Afghanistan, in terms of infrastructure, personnel, money, bases, equipment, etc. It was sobering to see how entangled we are in that country and how difficult it will be
Original Commentary | Oct 29, 2010
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman speaks at a press conference during his visit to Lebanon (AP)
On Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice underscored
U.S. support for the Lebanese government, while criticizing Syria and Iran for supporting Hezbollah and undermining Lebanese sovereignty. Her comments followed
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s criticism of the United States. The week before Jeffrey Feltman, U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, visited
Lebanon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on the phone, following
Iranian President Mahmoud
Original Commentary | Oct 26, 2010
Prime Minister Erdoğan (AP)
Middle East Bulletin interview with Michael Werz, senior fellow, Center for American Progress.
You recently returned from a trip to Turkey where you held meetings with senior government officials and opposition leaders, what were some of the main themes discussed during these meetings?
The meetings with President Gul, Prime Minister Erdoğan, and Deputy Prime Minister Babacan dealt with issues that are currently at the core of Turkish-American relations: the Iran nuclear discussion and the deteriorating relationship between Turkey and Israel; but also
Original Commentary | Oct 22, 2010
King Abdullah and President Obama (AP)
, October 20, the State department
notified Congress of an arms deal with Saudi Arabia consisting of $60 billion in U.S. weapons and aircraft. The deal has been in the works since 2007
. Congress has 30 days
to block the deal. This sale represents the largest foreign arms deal in U.S. history
, if fully carried out.
Middle East Bulletin (MEB) has been examining developments in Saudi Arabia over the years, including publishing a backgrounder
Original Commentary | Oct 13, 2010
President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu (AP)
What is the current status of Israeli-Palestinian talks?
They are very much in flux. The question of the moment is whether the settlement moratorium will be extended for a shorter period of time–perhaps sixty days. But now the Palestinians seem to be moving the goal posts somewhat in saying it’s not just an extension of the moratorium, there has to be a total freeze. I don’t know what exactly that means but we may find ourselves in a situation in which
Original Commentary | Oct 5, 2010
Bushehr nuclear plant (AP)
What do you see as your role as the new deputy assistant secretary of state for Iran?
I think the simplest way of putting it is that I’m one of a large number of people who are attempting to manage the challenge that Iran represents to the United States and to the United States’ interests.
How do you assess the current state of relations between the United States and Iran?
The current state of relations between Iran and the United States
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