Global Policy Forum

The Annapolis Conference



Still Talking: Annapolis One Year On (November 27, 2008)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have had many meetings that have only resulted in a symbolic Middle East peace process. The 2007 Annapolis conference revisited the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. However, the split between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and Fatah, which controls the West Bank, must be resolved before an independent Palestine can emerge. In addition, Israel must stop building settlements in the West Bank and it must address the rights of the Palestinian refugees. (BBC)


Global Donors Exceed Palestinian Expectations at Paris Conference (December 19, 2007)

The Paris conference, which had around 90 participants, including countries and international organizations, raised 7.4 billion dollars in support of a promised Palestinian State. Even Arab countries contributed large amounts, specially Saudi Arabia, showing their willingness to get involved in the negotiations. However, two main obstacles remain: Israel's sanctions, the oppressive intervention in the occupied terriotries, and the exclusion of Hamas – which controls Gaza - from the negotiations. (Christian Science Monitor)

World Powers Meet in Paris to Bankroll Palestinian State (December 17, 2007)

Following the Annapolis conference, major powers and key donors are meeting in Paris for a fundraising meeting, to support the creation of a Palestinian state. The donors want some certainty about the effective use of the money, so Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni has been pressured to lift sanctions on the West Bank and the Gaza strip. They also request that the Palestinian government improve security conditions. The money will be used for a West Bank government plan sponsering education, health and women's rights. (Daily Star - Lebanon)

Middle East Peace Conference A ‘Significant Breakthrough,' Says Top UN Official (November 30, 2007)

Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs in the Middle East, B. Lynn Pascoe expressed content with the Annapolis Conference and re-stated UN support for the peace process. Although Israeli and Palestinian leaders compromised to start negotiations towards a peace treaty, the ground situation, especially in Gaza, remains a great humanitarian crisis, as the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reported. (UN News)

Israelis and Palestinians Pessimistic on Chances of Peace (November 28, 2007)

The author of this Der Spiegel article argues that leaders wasted the opportunity created by the Annapolis Conference, to achieve substantial peace. Instead, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US president George W. Bush used the Conference to enhance their popularity in Israel and the Middle East. Also, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas failed to standup for the people of Gaza and the West Bank. While the Conference took place as a publicity stunt, Israel continued to hold nuclear weapons and occupy Palestinian territories.

Gaza Fears Israeli Push to Smash Hamas (November 27, 2007)

While Israeli and some Palestinian leaders meet at a Conference in Annapolis, USA, fighting in the Gaza strip continues. Gaza civilians suffer from Hamas control and the Israeli occupation, resulting in isolation and lack of basic resources, such as water and food. Israeli commentators speculate that Israel has been planning a military operation against Hamas after the Annapolis Conference "is out of the way." (Independent)

Pessimism Overhangs Annapolis Talks (November 27, 2007)

The author of this al-Jazeera article complains that the parties attending the Annapolis Conference lack clarity and objectiveness. Unless these countries pressure Israel to stop the occupation, no agreement will resultl. Although the Conference has a high attendance, one of the most important players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Hamas was not invited. For that reason, Palestinians have been protesting against the conference and questioning its legitimacy.

Factbox - Names of Participants in Annapolis Meeting (November 26, 2007)

Reuters published a list of countries and organizations, and their representatives, participating in the Conference.

Annapolis, as Seen from Gaza (November 23, 2007)

El-Haddad points out the gap between Israeli promises and its actions. The author claims that the Annapolis Conference will allow Israel to gain more time, appearing to compromise but actually evading action. The meeting will also help improve President Mahmoud Abbas support among the international community. However the block of Hamas participation demonstrates the lack of consideration for the people in Gaza, who suffer an inhuman occupation. (Electronic Intifada)

Israel and Palestine Fail to Agree Before Conference (November 20, 2007)

This Mail & Guardian article reports that Israeli and Palestinian leaders couldn't overcome key obstacles and sign a joint declaration before the Annapolis Conference. Palestinian sources claim that the existing drafts do not mention important principals from past UN Security Council resolutions, which calls for an end to the conflict. Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas said that even though Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, released Fatah prisoners he still hasn't halted Israeli "illegal outposts" in the West Bank.

Olmert Hopes Syria Will Attend Annapolis Conference (November 6, 2007)

Although Israel and Syria have tensions over the Golan Heights territory, Olmert believes that neighboring Syria should play an important role at the Annapolis conference, despite US resistance. He stressed that Syria should not pressure Israel about their own issues during the conference. Syria has condoned Hamas in Syrian territory, and therefore, Syrian's participation in the conference could help bring Hamas into the talks. (Reuters)

Olmert Deputy Urges Talks on Future of Jerusalem (October 8, 2007)

A US-sponsored conference on the Middle East will take place in November, where Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas agree to a "comprehensive peace." Negotiators from Israel and Palestine have already started to draft a joint document to present at the peace talk. Israel considers trading "some Palestinian areas within Jerusalem for Jewish settlement blocks in the occupied West Bank." However, Israel will not concede authority over Jerusalem but will allow greater access to the Palestinians. The author does not mention either Hamas, the people in Gaza or Syria within in the peace agreement agenda. (Reuters)

Bush Peace Plan Met with Scepticism (August 19, 2007)

US President George Bush is proposing the tenure of an international summit in an attempt to revive the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process." However, the conference would not include representatives from Hamas and Syria, as both refuse to recognize the state of Israel. The exclusion of key players in the summit has led international critics to question the validity of President Bush's motives and to suggest that the US is "pushing for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to secure Arab backing for a possible US-led war against Iran." (Inter Press Service)

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