Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mideast's Balance of Power Shifts Away From U.S.: Regional Players Bypass Washington In Brokering Deals

This WSJ piece, thanks to SyriaComment, here
"...A collection of peacemakers, some unlikely, has stepped into the breach. In May, Qatar successfully pushed a peace deal in Lebanon that saw Iranian-backed Hezbollah gain extensive new political powers at the expense of Beirut's Western-backed government. Last month, Egypt brokered a military truce between Israel and the Palestinian faction Hamas, an Iranian ally that last year violently overran the Gaza Strip.
But his efforts come after Israel's once-unquestionable regional military superiority has been severely tested. In 2006, Hezbollah fighters bogged down a larger and more advanced Israeli army during a month-long battle in Lebanon. And Israeli military incursions into the Hamas-held Gaza Strip failed to dislodge rocket-firing militants.
Amid that backdrop, the State Department's point man on the Middle East, Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, is set to meet top Syrian academics and attorneys this week, according to Syrian officials. Mr. Welch's planned session is raising hopes Washington may more aggressively support the Damascus-Jerusalem peace track. The State Department didn't comment on the meetings..."

No comments: