Bush Steps Up Diplomatic Effort As Annapolis Talks Draw Nearer
President Calls Key Leaders Before Arab League Meets in Cairo
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 22, 2007; Page A26
In a bit of last-minute diplomacy, President Bush called the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority yesterday to discuss details of the U.S. peace conference set to begin in Annapolis next week, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the goal is to wrap up a peace deal to produce a Palestinian state by the time Bush leaves office. . .
. . . With just four days until delegations are expected to arrive, the Bush administration is still engaged in intense efforts to ensure that the key countries will indeed send top officials to the first Middle East peace conference since the 2000 Camp David talks.
. . . In two sessions with reporters yesterday, Rice said that the wider Arab world needs to be engaged “early and often” to give confidence to Israel that when a Palestinian state becomes a reality, the wider Arab-Israeli conflict will end.
Is the last term of a two-term presidency early enough? Is once in eight years often enough?
Is anyone in this administration serious about solving the problem? Calling a four-day quickie meeting (with no preparation) is more insult to the process than solution.
Wanting to get this solved before this president leaves office is just a stunning rebuke to the sensitivity and difficulty of an issue that has absorbed pain and suffering on both sides for fifty years. No wonder the world at large has so little use for the diplomatic abilities of this arrogant president.
Another “oh that too” moment in the White House.