- The peace process is not likely to move forward substantially in the near future.
Although both sides ostensibly agree to a two-state solution, they are severely
divided by the components of that solution, whether it is final borders, Israeli
communities over the Green Line, security guarantees, or the fate of Palestinian
- Yet pursuit of peace is a worthy goal, even when it seems far away. In the absence
of progress on the core issues dividing the sides, progress might be made on
common concerns unrelated to the core issues.
- In 1991 the countries of the region embarked on multilateral talks based on
the Madrid framework that eventually led to dozens of official and non-official
meetings. Five multilateral working groups addressed key regional issues:
environment, arms control and regional security, water, refugees, and economic
development. The idea was to make progress on issues of mutual concern that
might serve as confidence-building measures to move the bilateral tracks forward.
- It was a time when Arabs and Israelis were talking about regional issues in a
serious manner. Restarting the multilateral talks and adopting a “code of conduct”
for the negotiating process would allow the West to influence political evolution in
the Arab world in a democratic and positive way.
- One advantage of a reconvening of the multilateral talks is that they would not
really need any new concessions, as the framework has already been set up. If the
multilaterals improve the atmosphere, they might facilitate the conclusion of a