Mideast peace talks: Are Israel, Palestine just going through the motions?

English.news.cn   2010-08-24 14:04:45 FeedbackPrintRSS

by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Friday's announcement of a new round of Middle East peace talks has stirred skepticism over whether the negotiations will amount to any meaningful progress.

Moreover, some experts said both the Israelis and Palestinians are simply going through the motions in a bid to placate Washington.

"In effect you have both sides just doing this to please the United States," said Michele Dunne, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Neither side believes that a negotiated solution can result from the talks, nor are they prepared to make major concessions, she said.

Talks between Israelis and Palestinians have been stalled since a breakdown more than a year ago, and many are skeptical over whether a solution can be found to a rivalry that has spanned several decades.

While some have applauded U.S. President Barack Obama for bringing the issue back to the front burner, Dunne said the potential for success is low.

The Palestinian leadership is weakened by a rift between Fatah and Hamas, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has no other options but to accept what Obama is presenting, she said.

"There's a strong feeling on the Palestinian side that the Palestinians were forced into this," she said.

On the Israeli side, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the governing coalition have shown little interest in a negotiated solution with the Palestinians, she said.

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Editor: Fang Yang
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