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StateSide:Policy
"Iraq for Land" Deal
Arab Summit May Embarrass SecState with Demand for Palestine
01/15/2007 7:23 PM ET
One has to have some sympathy for Condoleezza Rice as she has been preparing to face a gathering of none-too-happy Arab diplomats tomorrow in Kuwait. Now on the eve of that critical meeting, word has leaked out that Arab leaders intend to propose U.S. cooperation on Palestine as the appropriate return favor for their cooperation on Iraq. AP quotes one anonymous Arab diplomat as saying, "She will listen to one voice that if the United States wants Arabs' help in Iraq they should help them in Palestine."

In the early days of his administration, President Bush made a point of disengaging the United States from its longtime role as negotiator-in-chief for the Arab-Israeli peace process. One can almost forgive the naivete of a new president thinking it not in the core interests of the United States to continue shuttling the two countries down the path toward negotiated settlement, but with so many key problems (al Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, Syria) hingeing on the Israel-Palestine question, six years of experience has hopefully taught him that the U.S. needs to stay intimately involved.

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