2 Sep 2010
Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu will meet face to face for the first time in Washington DC for direct talks after months of shuttle diplomacy and proximity talks via Middle East peace envoy, George Mitchell, reports Link TV.
Much hope is being placed on the negotiations culminating in an agreement within a year. But analysts as well as the Palestinian and Israeli public are skeptical about the meeting leading to any concrete results.
According to an Al Jazeera report, this encounter appears to be just another round in a succession of failed talks from the Oslo Accord of 1993, to the Wye River talks of 1998 to Camp David in 2002, to Annapolis in 2007.
Similarly, activist group, Codepink, performed a superb parody of the talks titled, "Peace Charade 2010."
A crucial issue in these talks would be the question of settlement expansion in the West Bank. Israel has ignored the call to halt settlement expansion, while the Palestinians see settlement expansion as a deal breaker.
Furthermore, Hamas is excluded from the negotiations and Link TV contends that neither Netanyahu nor Abbas have the mandate to deliver a peace agreement.
Update on this story: The Guardian newspaper reports that the talks ended with Abbas and Netanyahu agreeing that a peace deal could be achieved within a year.