Can Arab Leaders Bring Peace?

[TIME] Andrew Lee Butters - Has the Arab League finally broken its taboo on ties with Israel by sending a delegation to Jerusalem? Depends who you ask. The Israeli government has declared Wednesday's visit by the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan a historic landmark on the road toward acceptance of Israel by the Arab world. "In the past, the Arab League has opposed dialogue, normalization and any contact with Israel, and this is the first time the Arab League has authorized a delegation to visit Israel," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. Not so fast, say the visitors. The Egyptian government released a statement on Saturday saying that the foreign ministers are not, in fact, representing the Arab League in Jerusalem, but only their own countries. Saudi Arabia, for example, which drafted the Arab initiative, is now warning that peace between Israel and the Palestinians is impossible unless Israel also negotiates with Hamas. The Saudi warning is a sign that those in Fatah such as Mahmoud Abbas who are closest to the U.S. and Israel have lost support not only among Palestinians, but among Arab countries as well.

2007-07-26 01:00:00

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