Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Friday, January 12, 2007

Rice Seeks Backing Abroad for Iraq Plan

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/01/rice-seeks-backing-abroad-for-iraq-plan.html

Rice Seeks Backing Abroad for Iraq Plan
Trip to Middle East, Europe Also Aims to Revive Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/11/AR2007011102145.html

By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 12, 2007; Page A14
With President Bush's plan to boost troops in Iraq facing blistering criticism at home, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice departs today on another difficult sales mission: winning the support of Arabs for the Iraq plan and seeking momentum for a renewed push on Middle East peace.

Rice endured hours of tough questions in both the Senate and House foreign policy panels yesterday over the administration's strategy for Iraq and its diplomacy toward Iraq's neighbors, particularly Iran and Syria. She had prepared for the hearings carefully, anticipating some of the toughest questions at several practice sessions known as "murder boards," and so remained unruffled when lawmakers pummeled her with complaints.
The stakes could not be higher on Rice's week-long trip to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Germany and Britain. She is trying to knit together her vision of a "new Middle East" from the turmoil and conflict spawned in part by the Iraq war and the rising influence of radical Islamic groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran has emerged as a more powerful regional power partly because of U.S. missteps in Iraq. Administration officials say the rise of Iran has to some extent given such historic antagonists as Israel and Saudi Arabia common strategic interests.
Rice has said she sees the turmoil as offering opportunity. "This is a different Middle East," she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. "This Middle East is a Middle East in which there really is a new alignment of forces," pitting "reformers and responsible leaders" in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Palestinian territories against "extremists of every sect and ethnicity who use violence to spread chaos, to undermine democratic governments and to impose agendas of hatred and intolerance."
The glue that is supposed to help link the positive forces is a sustained personal effort by Rice to make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, administration officials and diplomats said. Bush has called repeatedly for a "two-state solution" to the conflict, but Arabs and outside analysts have complained that in the past six years the administration has frequently disengaged when the obstacles seemed too great.
Philip D. Zelikow, until earlier this month Rice's counselor at the State Department, said the new effort has "three big pillars," including a comprehensive effort in the Middle East to win support for the Iraqi government and rallying the region to stand up to the extremism of Iran and al-Qaeda.
"Undergirding the rest is an intensified effort on the next phase of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process," Zelikow said, adding that it would include winning greater public backing for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas from Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia.
U.S. officials quietly encouraged Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recently to say something positive about a 2002 Saudi peace plan that included recognition of Israel as a way of breaking the ice between the Jewish state and the kingdom with Islam's holiest sites. Olmert's predecessor, Ariel Sharon, had shunned the Saudi plan.
In recent months, Rice has initiated a new forum known as the "GCC plus two," which brings together the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council with Egypt and Jordan. Arab sources say the participants have agreed to the meetings with great reluctance, believing they could not afford to cross Rice. Another meeting is scheduled for Rice's stop in Kuwait.
A senior administration official acknowledged yesterday there is concern that the forum will be seen as an anti-Iranian alliance but said it has proved to be "quite productive for consultations."
Rice's aides have tried to lower expectations for this round of diplomacy, saying she was mainly hoping to listen to ideas. The official yesterday denied a report in the upcoming issue of Time magazine that Rice had joined with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in a bid to put aside a previous peace plan known as the "road map" and leap right to final-status talks to bolster Abbas. An Israeli official also denied the report.
Still, diplomats who have met with Rice say they have been impressed with her sense of personal commitment to trying to make a breakthrough this year.
Dennis Ross, a former Middle East envoy who has known Rice since they were both young Soviet specialists in Northern California, said: "I think that Condi is seriously contemplating what she can do. I am not saying she will do it. There is a big difference between contemplating something and doing it."
Indeed, analysts and administration officials acknowledged that the moment is not auspicious for any sort of breakthrough. Abbas is battling against Hamas, which won legislative elections a year ago and refuses to renounce its goal of eliminating Israel. Abbas has suggested he will call elections to end the political crisis, but there is no guarantee that he will win. Meanwhile, Olmert has low approval ratings because of public disapproval of his handling of last summer's war with Hezbollah.
"The moon, the sun and stars are not in auspicious alignment," said Aaron David Miller, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and longtime peace negotiator through successive administrations. "With due respect to anyone who wants to deal with this, it has 'loser' written all over it."


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/01/rice-seeks-backing-abroad-for-iraq-plan.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment



<< Home


FREE EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION
Subscribe to
ZNN
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by groups.yahoo.com


Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israpundit
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Z-Word
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
UN-Biased
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Zionism
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog
Liberticracia
CNPublications
SEO

Reference
Zionism
Anti-Semitism
Anti-Zionism
Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Bible
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Islamism
Jihad
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Israel
Jew
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism
Russian

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Experimental
Isfake lobby
Mysterology

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products
Mezuzah

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory