16 Items

President Donald Trump and President Abbas participate in a joint press conference at the Presidential Palace, Tuesday, May 23, 20217, in Bethlehem.

The White House/Shealah Craighead

Analysis & Opinions - Council on Foreign Relations

Reading The Trump Administration in Ramallah

| Aug. 06, 2018

Does the United States seek relations with Hamas in Gaza and to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership in the West Bank? Palestinians officials and insiders asked me this question repeatedly during a recent visit to Ramallah. At first, the question seems strange. How could well-informed insiders come to wonder if the United States prefers to deal with an Islamist terrorist organization to a leadership that avows non-violence and actively pursues security cooperation with Israel on a daily basis?

The participants of the International Conference on Libya listen to a verbal agreement between the various parties regarding the organization of a democratic election this year during an International Conference on Libya at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 29, 2018. (Etienne Laurent, Pool photo via AP)

Etienne Laurent, Pool photo via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Council on Foreign Relations

Rushing Libya’s Elections Will Lead to Disaster

    Author:
  • Alexander Decina
| June 28, 2018

For more than two years, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has sat in Tripoli, making little if any progress toward resolving Libya’s political crisis and ongoing conflict. On May 29, however, amid stagnant UN efforts, French President Emmanuel Macron convened a summit in Paris with the leaders of rival Libyan factions, and the parties agreed, in principle, to presidential and parliamentary elections by December 10.

Press Release - Future of Diplomacy Project

Future of Diplomacy Project Welcomes Nine Spring Fellows

The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will welcome nine Senior Fellows to the Harvard Kennedy School campus between February and April 2018. All fellows will be actively engaged in Project programming, including chairing seminars with students, conducting research, and playing an active role in the intellectual life of the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Analysis & Opinions

Robert Danin on Trump's Jerusalem Move

| Dec. 13, 2017

Violet riots continue in Jerusalem after embattled U.S. president Donald Trump moved to recognize it last week as the capital of Israel, indicating that this issue is indeed a regional and world flashpoint. It generated huge news coverage, both negative and positive, even as any Arab states have condemned the move, along with certain elements of the E.U. We spoke with Robert M. Danin of the CFR and the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School on the local and global politics around Jerusalem — and what the (delayed) recognition of Jerusalem would means for Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians and Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israelis.

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Blog Post - Council on Foreign Relations Press

President Trump’s Peace Efforts Require A Regional Approach

| May 22, 2017

It was just one year ago that then-President Obama, seeking a modus vivendi with Tehran, said that America’s Gulf allies need to “share the Middle East” with the Iranians. That view of the Middle East was decisively repudiated this week, with Trump clearly aligning the United States with the majority of the Sunni Arab world, and Israel, against Iran.

President Abbas

Mussa Qawasma/Reuters

Analysis & Opinions - Council on Foreign Relations Press

Palestinian President Abbas’ Washington Challenge

| May 01, 2017

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas faces one of the greatest negotiating challenges of his political career on Wednesday when he meets President Trump at the White House: He must convince many skeptics in Washington that he is willing and able to sign the “ultimate deal” that President Trump seeks.

Israeli Settlements

Baz Ratner/Reuters

Analysis & Opinions - Council on Foreign Relations

President Trump’s Settlement Policy Breaks Ground

| Feb. 06, 2017

For the first dozen days of the Trump administration, it seemed to Israelis that they had a free hand to settle the West Bank. Israel announced its intention to build thousands of new houses, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the Knesset and declared that Israel would establish its first new settlement in decades. Washington said nothing. Then, last Thursday night, the White House press secretary issued a statement that caught many in Washington—and Israel—off guard.

Kerry and Hollande

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Blog Post - Council on Foreign Relations Press

Paved With Good Intentions? France's Middle East Peace Conference

| Jan. 16, 2017

The Madrid peace conference in 1991 to launch comprehensive Arab-Israeli negotiations was a diplomatic triumph. The 2007 Annapolis conference relaunched peace-making and a new, well-prepared three track security, economic, and political process on pre-negotiated terms of reference just a few years after the violent second Intifada. These were important moments—historically, and diplomatically.

Despite best intentions, the 2017 Paris peace conference was neither historic nor constructive. The meeting was both poorly timed and ill-prepared, such that the two main parties—the Israelis and Palestinians—stayed away. Even Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was otherwise occupied. The absence of the two main protagonists to the conflict was the least of it. The meeting simply underlined outdated thinking that, left uncorrected, will harm future international diplomatic efforts to deliver peace to the Holy Land.