MEPP is moving

November 24, 2016 22:51

The JC is very lucky to have Sky News' Tim Marshall writing for us. He has an excellent blog post up today on MEPP - which, in case you're not au fait with the diplomatic shorthand for 'The Middle East Peace Process'. You can read it here.

Here's Tim's main argument:


[T]he Obama Administration has spent the past three months putting its MEPP team
together and is within 6 weeks of revealing its strategy to achieve a two state
solution. At the same time the Arab nations have been feeling their way towards
a united position, partially to get the issue out of the way so they can
confront the other issue which really bothers them, the rise of Iran. The 22
nation Arab League can be expected to re-draft a 2002 proposal
on a two state solution to throw into the mix over the next few weeks.

Before that the UN Security Council meets on Monday at Foreign Minister level
to discuss the MEPP, then comes the key meeting, on May 18th, between the new
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu and President Obama in
Washington. The Middle East Quartet will then meet in June. The
signs are that both Mr Obama and the Quartet are now ready to try to pressure
the Israeli's into substantive talks leading to a Palestinian state.

So far Bibi has given little indication that he is ready for a Palestinian
state, nor even for 'substantive talks' which is what Middle East envoy Tony
Blair called for this week. His government is fairly strong, allowing him to
make concessions if he wishes, but there are key Cabinet members who are even
more opposed to a Palestinian state than is the PM.

The MEPP is moving, there are few reasons to be optimistic, but crucially
Team Obama is moving at the beginning of its term in office.


November 24, 2016 22:51

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