Wednesday, September 21, 2011

American Diplomatic Efforts Appear To Have Paid Off Over Palestinian Issue At UN

So Abbas backs down, and appears to have backed off a call to declare statehood for a Palestinian state.
Abbas reportedly gave in, telling President Obama at their meeting Wednesday that although he will ask the UN for statehood, he will not demand an immediate vote. That means the U.S. will continue to give the Palestinians the $450 million in annual aid they get from us, but it’s unclear if this will mean more anti-American sentiment in the Arab world.

“We will give some time for the Security Council to consider first our full membership before heading to the General Assembly,” senior Fatah Party official Nabile Shaath said.

“President Abbas has already met with Ban Ki-Moon. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, and told him that on Friday he would be submitting to him a letter asking for Security Council discussion and approval.”

“Let us cease our endless debates on the parameters and let us begin negotiations and adopt a precise and ambitious timetable,” French President Nicholas Sarkozy said.

French strategy, in concert with the Americans, is to entice the Palestinians back to the bargaining table by proposing a fast-track one-year time table for negotiations that result in Palestinian statehood.

“Let’s have one month to resume discussions, six months to find agreement on borders and security, one year to reach definitive agreement,” Sarkozy said.
The French/American strategy appears to have gotten some traction, but it again hinges on Palestinian acceptance on Israel's existence.

Israel has repeatedly shown itself willing to cede territory, and settlements were not, are not, and will continue not to be the real impediment to peace. A lack of a partner in peace is the real reason for a lack of a deal. Diplomats will continue to ignore that key point in pushing for some kind of a deal - hoping that a cold peace is better than an ongoing low-level conflict.

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