France, Turkey, Qatar and Syria at the summit

Headline40c0a9 ""We are awaiting Israel’s response to six points submitted through Turkey," Mr Assad said, promising Syria would respond positively to Israel’s answer.

Direct talks could happen once a new US administration "which believes in the peace process" takes office, he said.

Syria has remained in a state of war with Israel since its 1948 foundation.

Mr Assad was speaking at a four-way summit with the leaders of France and key Middle East mediators Qatar and Turkey.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the revolving EU presidency, said he hoped France and the EU could rank alongside the US as a Middle East peacemaker."  BBC


Some years ago there was an attempt to involve the EU in negotiations between Israel and various Arab parties.  It failed because of US resistance to the idea.  Put plainly, the US and Israel did not want the Europeans involved because Israel would lose its negotiating advantage if that occurred.  The Europeans were seen as excessively unbiased. 

Has anything changed since then?  Yes.  The Bush Administration is even more inclined to follow the Israeli "lead" than the Clinton Administration.

Nevetheless, the clear intention of Bashar Assad to negotiate a settlement with Israel should be a hopeful sign.

Would a Palin/McCain Administration follow this line of development to a succesful conclusion giving Israel a better long term chance for life?  I doubt it.  Why? Just too "bloody minded" for that I think.  McCain is in search of enemies against whom to vent his stored up pain.  Syria, Iran, the takfiri "boogy men" in South Waziristan, they are all candidates for "bad dog" status.

Would an Obama Administration be any better at finding a future for the Jewish state?  That is hard to say.  Biden is as much an Israelophile as McCain.  Obama?  That is an open question.  pl

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10 Responses to France, Turkey, Qatar and Syria at the summit

  1. Richard Whitman says:

    Much also depends on what kind of government, if any, the Israelis have next year. If, as now, they do not have an effective government that can take decisive action, nothing will happen.

  2. Jose says:

    “McCain is in search of enemies against whom to vent his stored up pain. ”
    I wish the Obama people would read that line and use it to describe in perfect clarity the potential pitfalls of a McSame administration.
    Peace in the Middle East?
    IMHO, probably only going to happen after Iran acquires a nuclear weapon.
    Dumbya administration should supported the Saudi peace offer which would forced all interested parties into negotiations via the Arab League.
    Probably also prevented the election of Hamas and consolidation of Hizzbollah power in Lebanon.
    Instead of “Lost Victories,” someone should write about “Lost Opportunities.”

  3. GSD says:

    Col. Lang,
    I wonder if you’d care to comment on this article in Haaretz.
    Excerpted from opening paragraphs:
    Israel must remain a strong ally of the United States, however its decisions “must be made in Jerusalem”, said Delaware Senator and Democratic Party Vice Presidential nominee Joseph Biden during a teleconference held with members of the Jewish press on Wednesday.
    Biden also expressed his support of Israel’s right to protect itself, saying, “Israel has the right to defend itself and it doesn’t have to ask, just as any other free and independent country.
    The Vice Presidential nominee vowed that the U.S. will “always stand by Israel, without telling Israelis what they can and cannot do.”

  4. Jimmy says:

    To Whitman,
    Maybe, like the Soviet Union, Syria does not understand this Israeli Parliamentary thing.

  5. Richard Whitman says:

    To Jimmy;
    Even the Israelis do not understand the Israeli Parlimentary System. Create a new political party every year whether it is needed or not. Having been in Israel recently I can tell you that Israel is a Security/Military/Police State.

  6. “Would a Palin/McCain Administration follow this line of development to a succesful conclusion giving Israel a better long term chance for life? I doubt it. Why? Just too “bloody minded” for that I think.”
    I agree with your conclusion, but think that several other factors will drive the result rather than bloody mindedness. First, most of the realists have been purged from the GOP’s foreign and national security affairs bench, leaving the neocons as the only players available. Even if McCain tries to install alternatives to them in key slots, he will be blocked by those to whom he has sold out towhom he has compromised with in order to get the nomination. Even if he were able to get a realist or two installed in a high enough place to be influential, his decision style is disturbingly reminiscent of that of George W. Bush, that is as impulsive as it is non-analytical. The best that can be said about the comparison is that, unlike the president, he does not have a “Gods-Instrument” complex, but that is not much of a thread to base ones hopes on.

  7. How does “Never Again” contribute to Israeli foreign policy 60 years after US recognition of the State of Israel? Is it the lodestone? For a majority of Israelies? Is “Never Again” US policy with respect to the Jews? How many residents of Israel carry US passports? If there is a period of rising tension and these passport holders wish to evacuate what will the US do? If the Israeli government opposes evacuation? Biden’s statement is very flawed and probably meaningless.

  8. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    <"Direct talks could happen once a new US administration "which believes in the peace process" takes office, he said.">
    Obama-Biden would seem to be more open to “the peace process” than Palin-McCain notwithstanding Biden’s pro-Israelism.
    One indicator here would be the role of Israel advocate and Jewish Agency operative Dennis Ross. If he has no role, things could be ok. Ambassador Kurtzer and several other Obama advisors could play a positive role.
    Progress on the Syria track would, of course, be positive. I am told there is a very large amount of Gulfie investment flowing into Syria these days. It is said Assad and wife are seen from time to time in Qatar. The Euros have a desire for positive relations with Syria as we see.
    The pro-Israel Lobby in the US could, as usual, wreck everything. IMO this is the most likely scenario given our experience over the past half century or so.
    So some other game changers could help.
    Russian defensive weapons systems for Syria and Iran could fence in Israel making it more amenable to some deals and less likely to continue destabilizing the region. Some capable Russian, Belarus, Chinese systems for Egypt could add some additional dissuasion to the mix. All this the sooner the better some would argue.

  9. Curious says:

    Something big is going down in the global market. .. it’s going down all over again, big time.
    1. could be ECB tightening lending rule so banks needs to liquidate some asset to cover margin.
    2. or the cascade from previous crash finally comes around even bigger.
    3. war is in the offing. People are taking out their money from the market before things are getting uglier. (That Iran thing is simmering again.)
    at least oil price is holding low.
    I wonder what Sarkozy is thinking right now.
    btw, Russia market is a bit jittery, they lost some $12B reserve in a few days.

  10. Qatar Boy says:

    I’d agree that Iran’s obtaining nukes would mean the paradigm shift and may lead to peace.

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