Pres Bush foreign policy legacy. Peace accord between Israel and the P.A.

Gilbert comment. While this Blog’s main focus has been on Orange County and Santa Ana activities, I am pleased that Art supports my including key national and foreign policy reports that impact every one of our lives. The Orange Juice readership extends far beyond Orange County. For that reason I will occasionally include reports such as the following that speaks for itself.

In an effort to reward president Bush for U.S. support of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has stated his desire to work out a “roadmap to peace” agreement with the nation of Israel before president Bush leaves office.

Some may ask “where’s Condi?” Trust me when I report that she has been working behind the scenes to mitigate the Middle East conflict. On November 27th there will be a one day Middle East summit meeting held in Annapolis MD to see if all parties can come to terms with a “road map to peace.” In fact, the Israeli delegation has already left for Washington. Included in that group are Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s bureau chief; Yoram Turbowicz, and his political advisor, Shalom Turjeman; Foreign Minister Director General Aharon Abramowitz; and Major General Ido Nehushtan, head of the Israel Defense Forces’ Plans and Policy Directorate. This is a powerful delegation who, unlike some of our state officials, are not on a joy ride. Israel has placed a freeze on future settlement activities in the debated territories as a prerequisite for continuing the peace process Regional nations invited to participate include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. If the U.S. is successful in getting an agreement between all of the regional parties this will give president Bush his much desired “legacy” as he leads our nation in the non-conventional GWOT that many Americans simply do not comprehend.

In addition to HAARETZ data let me share part of a Reuters report on current negotiations as published by HAARETZ which follows:

JERICHO – The EU’s top diplomat said on Tuesday an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was “doable” within nine months and that the issue of the Golan Heights should be addressed at the Annapolis peace conference this month.

Syria has made its attendance conditional on the conference agenda including the Golan Heights, captured from it by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. The talks on Palestinian statehood are slated for the last week of November in Annapolis, Maryland.

United States President George W. Bush called for the conference to bolster Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the long-stalled peace process after Hamas Islamists seized the Gaza Strip in June, and Israel has resisted adding the Golan Heights to the agenda.

“What we have in mind now is to finish the (Israeli-Palestinian)agreement after Annapolis in, let’s say, eight, nine months — during the period of time in which the administration, the present American administration, will stay in power,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, told Reuters in the West Bank town of Jericho.

“It’s doable. It requires political will. It requires effort. It’s not easy. But it’s doable,” Solana said.

It is unclear how a deal would be implemented with the Palestinian territories divided between Hamas ruling Gaza and Abbas’s Fatah faction dominating the occupied West Bank.

Solana acknowledged growing tensions between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators struggling to narrow differences over a joint document to be presented at the conference.

The document is meant to address in general terms issues like borders and the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees, and serve as a starting point for formal statehood negotiations slated for after the Annapolis conference.

Palestinian negotiators have told Western diplomats in recent days they were increasingly pessimistic differences over the document could be bridged, casting doubt on the willingness of key Arab states like Saudi Arabia to attend.

“We’re at a very important moment,” Solana said. “As we approach the beginning of the process, there will be some tensions. But I’m sure that this is going to be overcome.”

A U.S. official, who spoke on condition that he not be named, said there could be related events before or afterwards.

In addition to the joint document, the conference will focus on bolstering Palestinian governing institutions and expanding international involvement in the moribund Palestinian economy, issues spearheaded by Middle East envoy Tony Blair, Israeli officials briefed on the agenda said.

Asked if it was time to revive Israeli-Syrian peacemaking, Solana said: “We have to concentrate now on the track which is moving, which is the Palestinian track, without forgetting that peace will not be achieved until all the tracks are moving, that includes, of course, the Syrian and the Lebanese tracks.”
Solana said he hoped the Annapolis conference would issue a statement in “that direction”. Israel plans to release several hundred Palestinian prisoners before the conference as a gesture to Abbas, Israeli officials said, far short of the 2,000 figure proposed by Abbas.

Though leaders on both sides have said they hoped to be able to reach agreements before Bush leaves office in January 2009, Israel says implementation will not begin until the Palestinians dismantle militant groups as called for under the long-stalled “road map” peace plan.

After touring a training facility for the Palestinian police, Solana said: “I have no doubt that they will accomplish that. As a matter of fact, many of the issues which are contemplated in the first phase of the ‘road map’ the Palestinians are already complying with.”

Gilbert thoughts.
Everyone would welcome peace around the world. But let’s get real here.

Leaders of both sides, and U.S. negotiators, have their work cut out for them. There are many hawks and doves in the Middle East who will not be happy with any peace agreement based on their strong personal and religious convictions.

Further, with all of the continuous attacks in the region, do you feel that PA Chairman Abbas is capable of restraining the Hamas and Fatah groups from further attacks?


Alan Bock, Senior Editorial writer of the Register, provides extensive foreign policy and international news reports on their blog that you might check out.

To better comprehend the truth you should multi source your fact finding to avoid getting caught up in the spin cycle by some of the print media. Which brings me to one of my favorite quotes. “Trust, but verify.” Ronald Reagan.

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