Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Middle East Diplomacy at the White House

For those who have been following the diplomatic chess game going on in the Middle East, the following story bears note.

The Jerusalem Post reports on a White House meeting attended by Israeli and Sunni Arab representatives:

Israeli national security officials sat around the same table on Tuesday morning with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, discussing a dire humanitarian situation unfolding in the Gaza Strip.

The summit on Gaza, called by Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East peace, as well as Jason Greenblatt, his special representative for international negotiations, marks an unprecedented moment for Israeli diplomacy, as their dialogue with officials from Arab states is publicly recognized for the first time.

The Trump administration planned the meeting over several weeks and released a list of attendees the morning of the summit, which also included officials from Egypt, Jordan, Canada and various governments of Europe.

One notes that the meeting was organized by one Jared Kushner. For those who were wondering what first son-in-law was doing with his time, here’s a hint.

The Jerusalem Post also notes the significance of the meeting:

This is not the first time that Israeli and Arab officials have been in the same room together. Both were present at a peace conference in Madrid in 1991, and in UN ad hoc liaison committee hearings on the plight of the Palestinians. But the White House has never hosted an event of this kind, much less on the heels of releasing a plan designed to cement a burgeoning alliance between the Sunni Arab world and the Jewish state.

And also:

The meeting took place amid reports from Israel’s Channel 10 that Egypt has been hosting a series of behind-the-scenes meetings between Israeli and Saudi officials. The report has not been independently confirmed. 

I recognize that this meeting does not contain anywhere near as much drama as the other goings-on in the Trump administration, but a developing alliance between Sunni Arab states and Israel surely represents a giant step in the right direction.

Apparently, the loss of Rex Tillerson went unnoticed.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

No drama, but good outcome. This is good, moving toward excellent.