Mid East peace process pushed forward

The current U.S. leadership has just a few more weeks to prove the success of its foreign policy in the eyes of the world. Washington is pushing Israel and the Palestinians to accept a peace process agreement by the end of the year.

Russia, the U.S., the EU and the UN have got together in the United Nations headquarters, New York, to push for peace process forward. With a joint statement down they will be voting on a Security Council resolution proposed by Russia and the U.S. on Tuesday.
What the negotiators want to achieve is a secure Israel living peacefully with a viable Palestinian state. But with violence in the Middle East, disputes over the status of Jerusalem, and political transitions in Israel and the U.S. the task is far from easy.

“The main thing the resolution, Russia and the U.S. have submitted to the UN Security Council, is aiming to accomplish is to lay out the continuity of the peace process,” said Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“If you look at the text, this document in no way supersedes the primary goal, which is the co-existence of two states, Israel and the Palestinian Autonomy, in stability and security. This resolution is aimed at continuing our joint efforts to reach this goal,” said Lavrov.

The idea of a two-state solution was first articulated at a peace conference in Annapolis in November last year. The Bush administration was very ambitious and said the process could be completed by the end of the year. But this U.S. foreign policy ambition, too, has not become a reality.

“They won’t achieve agreement by the end of the year, but what they’ll have achieves a good deal of progress in their negotiations, a good deal of progress in the work that’s being done on the ground,” noted U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“And I would just remind you that this is the first time, in almost a decade, that Palestinian Israelis are addressing all of the core issues in a comprehensive way, to try to get to a solution, and if that process takes a little bit longer, so be it,” she added.

Some analysts say this set of meetings, on the Middle East at the UN is America's attempt to reach at least some foreign policy success before President Bush leaves office in just over a month.