The Arab-Israel peace conference this November in
THE LAST VISIT OF United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, to
However, the positive diplomatic declarations broadcast by the different parties are not sufficient to hide the mountain of difficulties that will need to be faced before the conference even begins. Even though the frequent meetings between the Israeli Prime minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, are directed towards the elaboration of a document regarding the agreed upon points between Palestinians and Israelis about the nature of agreements between these parties, one should not forget the fractures existing between the followers of Abbas who control Cisjordania and the followers of Ismael Hanyeh (Hamás) who control Gaza. This struggle represents within it a problem of legitimacy for any agreement reached between the loyal followers of Abbas-Abu, by eye of the followers of Hamás.
THE PROBLEMS OF THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT
On the other side, even though the publication of the final outcome of the Winograd Report  has been postponed until an unknown future date, this represents a serious threat to the continuation of the mandate of Ehud Olmert as the prime minister of Israel, to which questions of legal character are mounting which continue to dirty his mandate and his government, the judicial prosecution of which could distract the Israeli Government from the peace negotiations.
Beyond all of this it is impossible to think of a general Arab-Israeli agreement that doesn’t consider relations between
HOW TO DISTANCE SYRIA FROM
Ehud Olmert has declared at various opportunities that Syrian-Israeli negotiations are both necessary and welcome. On the other hand, the Israeli aerial operations in
It is difficult to establish if the ruling Syrian elite are really considering these options or not.
The answer is probably a mixed one: within the said elite, the radical militants are in favor of a continuation of the confrontation with
TO NEGOTIATE WITHOUT PRE-CONDITIONS
But, there is one point with which Syrian elites seem to be in agreement, which is that this change of position should be a positive result of the possible negotiations with Israel and not a pre-condition for them.
It is in this area where the United States, The European Union, and other heavy-weights of the international community (Russia, China, India, Japan, The Arab League, to mention a few of the most important) will have a central political role to play. They are able to guarantee to each party the satisfaction of their legitimate necessities in the various areas to be discussed. Simple mediations will not be discussed, nor will insubstantial guarantees, but rather concrete steps, like the planning of the necessary economic assistance needed to facilitate the transition towards negotiation, and peace for the economically weakest parties, certainly the Palestinians, and
Agreements will attempt to be reached regarding territorial de-militarization which will reassure to all that territories conceded to pacification will not be converted into platforms for future attacks. And to establish the necessary coordination between the parties in order to institutionalize the agreements in such a way that all of the political bodies resulting of them, especially the future Palestinian state, follow through with the valid international compromises to fight and eradicate terrorism in the all of the Middle East.
A DIFFICULT TASK, BUT NOT AN IMPOSSIBLE ONE
It is about supporting and reaching a definitive non-military solution to the problem posed by the nuclear development of
From here the formulas capable of resolving these problems are relatively clear: Secret negotiations, serious guarantees, international intervention in support of the agreements after their publication, the generation of political legitimacy and public support of the agreements and of the international guarantees therein. A difficult task, but not an impossible one.