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On the Middle East Peace Front:
Now Is the Time to Create Movement

Editorial from The Daily Star

"Now" is always a good time for proactive initiatives to get the Mid-east peace process moving. Right now, as in today and the coming weeks, is, however, a period much richer than usual in its potential to yield positive results.

Why is this the case? Because the European Union aspires to a greater regional role and the UN special envoy to the Middle East, Terje Roed Larsen, is currently on the job, on the ground. Because Turkey aspires to join the EU and enjoys influential good relations with Israel at the same time as being a subtle player in regional politics.

So what do the above mean? Taken together, it means an opportunity exists for the Palestinians to marshal European and Turkish regional interests into a Brussels-Ankara diplomatic pincer to create a new political reality.

But before this can happen the Palestinians, and especially the hard-liners, must be prepared to put aside their most pointed differences, and their arms, at least temporarily, to work for a common goal.

This is, of course, easier said than done, but the effort must be made. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be capped in 2005 - the year tentatively set for the creation of an independent Palestinian state according to the "road map" being administered by the "Quartet" of the United States, EU, Russia and the UN. It would be unwise of the Palestinians to wait until after the US elections in November before throwing what weight they have behind moves to make their state more than a dream.

In short, the Palestinians would be doing themselves, and the majority of Israelis who also desire peace, a great service if they push the diplomatic front forward, now, before the US elections, so that a new US administration will find something already on the table come year's end.

Source: The Daily Star, July 9, 2004 dailystar.com

CGNews promotes constructive perspectives and dialogue about current Middle East issues. The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors, not of CGNews or its affiliates.

From the Common Ground News Service
hagalil.com 22-03-2004



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