Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hope in the Levant

Paul Salem, Marina Ottaway from the Carnegie Endowment

The agreement between the Hizbollah-led opposition and the Lebanese government and
the start of indirect negotiations between Syria and Israel run counter to the policies of

the Bush administration, which has been pushing the Lebanese government not to

compromise with Hizbollah and opposes Syrian–Israeli talks. The agreement in Lebanon

was the direct result of negotiations with an organization considered terrorist by the

United States, and came in the wake of Hizbollah-led violence. Talks with Syria, a rogue

country allied with Iran, also fall in the category of “appeasement” according to the

stance taken by President Bush in his May 15 speech to the Knesset. Yet, both

developments carry the promise of progress, decreasing the chances of further conflict

from which nobody would benefit.

The United States should support the new Lebanese president and the government of

national unity. It should encourage the Syrian–Israeli talks—but it should stay out of the

process, allowing Syria, Israel, and Turkey to get on with efforts that have come a

considerable way so far.

Pdf document... Here

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