What are the prospects for a Peace agreement between Israel and her neighbors in 2010? How important is it to have some resolution to the decades old conflict? What role will the US take in fostering a solution? Will establishment of an Independent State of Palestine be good for peace?
Spain, assuming the EU presidency seems to want to continue the momentum for an independent Palestinian State and a quick resumption of negotiations.
The Spanish Foreign Minister said on Friday that Spain, as the next European Union president, intends on working towards a Palestinian state in 2010.
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told a news briefing in Brussels on Friday that his country, which takes over the EU presidency for six months in January, would strive for quick talks.
"My idea and my dream ... is to work for having in 2010, finally, a Palestinian state that could live in peace and security with Israel," Moratinos said.
The UN, another member of the Quartet, seems to be communicating a sense of urgency
17 December 2009 – Efforts to forge a Middle East peace are “in a race against time” with both sides needing to do more, Israel by fulfilling its commitments, including a settlement freeze, under an internationally endorsed plan for a two-State solution, and the Palestinians by resuming negotiations, a senior United Nations official warned today.
“If we cannot move forward towards a final status agreement, we risk sliding backwards, with both the Palestinian Authority and the two-State solution itself imperilled,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry told the Security Council in a regular monthly briefing on the situation.
And apparently the US does also
In concluding, he said United States envoy George Mitchell reassured him yesterday of President Barack Obama’s determination to work not only for the early resumption, but also the early conclusion of two-State negotiations, as called for by the so-called Quartet, comprising the UN, European Union (EU), Russia and the US.
“The Secretary-General believes a revitalized Quartet must play its full role in urgently advancing a common agenda in the crucial few months ahead,” he added. “He remains committed to an end to the occupation and an end to the conflict, through the creation of a Palestinian State living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.”
France and Egypt, also
PARIS (Reuters) - France and Egypt urged Israel and the Palestinians on Monday to reach a peace agreement in 2010, and Egypt's foreign minister said he remained hopeful this could be achieved.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit met French leaders in Paris to discuss prospects for peace in the Middle East and to resolve a controversy over ancient Egyptian murals.
"They should agree on a limited time frame," Aboul Gheit told Reuters on a possible restart of peace talks that have been suspended for a year. "There should be guarantees that we would not negotiate for ever, maybe involving the U.N. Security Council, maybe involving the Quartet."
The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators comprises the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.
"(The two presidents) saw the need for a political perspective so that negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians restart and an agreement is reached in 2010," French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said in a statement.
Both leaders are worried about the current impasse, the statement said.
"I am still hopeful that the U.S. will offer the parties a certain American vision, I am hopeful that the Quartet will participate ..." Aboul Gheit said.
U.S. President Barack Obama wanted to restart the peace process in his first year in office
So there seems to be a consensus for concluding peace discussions in 2010, perhaps with the emergence of an independent state of Palestine. What should the role of the US be? Should negotiations fail to achieve an agreement, and If the Palestinians declare an independent state based on the '67 Armistice lines, after midsummer elections, and seek UN and International recognition, what should the US do? It is likely that that the international community would grant recognition and refer to the UNSC a recommendation for full UN membership. Israel has appeared to prefer a more gradual approach to Palestinian Sovereignty.