The Monitor's View Mideast looks for a 'Switzerland'

As Israel and Iran square off over nuclear talks and war rages in Iraq and Syria, some Middle East nations seek a role as an island of neutrality and peacemaking, with Switzerland as a model.

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Four centuries ago, after a defeat to the French, Switzerland planted a seed in Europe. It declared itself neutral. Despite frequent wars on the Continent, it has largely succeeded. Today the Alpine nation is a model and a venue for peacemaking. The model is so successful in fact that many nations in the troubled Middle East have for years tried to become “the Switzerland” of the region.