A lead Palestinian peace negotiator says the demand for a full settlement freeze – not a partial one – is a precondition to resuming peace talks. But a meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas is still possible in September.
The impoverished country's battles against Shiite rebels and a growing Al Qaeda threat have heightened tensions between Sunni and Shiite neighbors in the region.
The respected delegation, headed by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, irked Israel by initially planning to meet Hamas in Gaza. That trip has been delayed.
The two met at the White House Tuesday. Obama sees Egypt as potentially a helpful player in moving the Middle East peace process forward.
The Egyptian president hopes Obama will back away from Bush's push for reform, which caused a rift between the two nations.
The economic crisis has taken a toll on Qualified Industrial Zones, a US trade initiative aimed at warming Israel's "cold peace" with Arab states.
Some of the 2,200 delegates expressed outrage at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s account of the party’s past 20 years.
As one of the few parties to speak to both Israel and Hamas, Cairo sees itself as a natural mediator. But now Turkey has called into question its effectiveness.
In a push for progress, three heavy hitters from the administration – Mitchell, Gates, and Jones – visited the region this week.