Thursday, March 15, 2007


U.S. envoy: We won't stop Israel from talking to Syria Ambassador to Israel says he does not consider Syria a diplomatic partner as long as it backs terror groups
Guardian Bid to bring Syria in from cold EU's foreign policy chief visits Syria as diplomacy in the Middle East intensifies ahead of a key Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia at the end of this month.
The road to Damascus Nadim Houry Mar 13 07, 09:00pm: Javier Solana's visit to president Assad signals a fresh start for the EU's relations with Syria. But human rights must not fall off the agenda.
Helena Cobban West's relations with Syria starting to thawTo end the Iraq strife, the US should engage Iran and Syria Alon Ben-Meir
Asia Times A US detour via Syria to Iran - by Sami Moubayed Even though a small step has been taken, any further US negotiations with Iran face problems. An alternative is to deal with Syria. Washington knows that Damascus alone cannot solve Iraq's problems, but it can be used to moderate Iran's behavior
A bombshell that nobody heardA vast, secret Middle Eastern operation is being run, possibly illegally and based on stolen Iraqi oil funds and Saudi money, out of the US vice president's office, all to undermine the Iranians, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Syrians. This is one of several startling claims, such as US "meddling" in Iran, made recently by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. And no one seems in the least bit bothered. - Tom Engelhardt
Der Spiegel Exodus to Syria: Iraqis Find Peace Across the Border
Iraqis Fleeing Violence Put Strain on Syria
EU urges Syria to play ‘positive’ role The EU’s foreign affairs chief, Javier Solana, on his first visit to Damascus in more than two years, urged Syria to play a positive role in Lebanon and Iraq
Solana: EU backs Syrian aim to regain Golan Heights
BBC Syria urges broader US dialogue Syria calls for a "serious dialogue" with the US as the most senior US official in two years visits Damascus.
Syria, United States Exchange Views on Iraqi Refugees
Syria calls for talks on Iraqi refugees Syria called for a “comprehensive dialogue” with the US as a senior State Department official held talks in Damascus on the plight of up to 1m Iraqi refugees
Syrian prime minister arrives in Tehran for talks with old ally

Lebanese Minister: Bus Bombing Last Month Was Ordered by Syria
WORLD NEWS: Lebanon arrests Syrian 'bombers' Beirut claims breakthrough over attacks Lebanon’s anti-Syrian government claimed the first major breakthrough in the investigation into a series of attacks in the country over the last couple of years
BBC Arrests over Lebanon bombings Alleged members of a radical Palestinian group are arrested in Lebanon over recent attacks on commuter buses.
Syria Denies Link to Group Accused of Lebanon Bombs

Olmert faces fall-out from Lebanon report
Schiff Analysis: PM, Peretz and Halutz are three men in the same boat Winograd interim report on failures surrounding war to cover period starting with 2000 pullout from LebanonFull text of the Winograd Committee press release
Envy, Conspiracy and a Lebanese Motor City By: Ulrike Putz Der SpiegelQatar, the oil-rich emirate, has donated a quarter of a billion dollars to the Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil in order to support reconstruction efforts there. But the generous donation has provoked a conflict with Hezbollah and is spawning envy, discord and conspiracy theories.
Olmert tells AIPAC: Early Iraq exit would destabilize entire Mideast
The Times US trying harder to secure peace
Condoleezza Rice is returning to the Middle East to try to kick-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process Gerard Baker
Palestinians’ power share

The New Strategy in Iraq: Uncertain Progress Towards an Unknown GoalSource: Center for Strategic & International Studies
Iraqis’ Progress Lags Behind Pace Set by Bush Plan Bush administration officials acknowledge that their key political goals for Iraq will take longer than they anticipated.
PINR "Intelligence Brief: The Implications of Strategic Withdrawal from Iraq" Full text of report

Iran, US Back Off From Confrontation Signs from both sides suggest more diplomacy, at least for now
Qatar voices Gulf fears of military action against Iran

MERIP Basra, the Reluctant Seat of “Shiastan” Reidar Visser
There is No Ignoring the New Middle East State System By: Claire Spencer The Daily Star With the language of multiple and inter-related crises dominating descriptions of the Middle East, it is easy to believe that the Arab state is fragmenting into fiefdoms, sectarian strife and trans-nationally inspired chaos. Yet of the 22 member states of the Arab League, only three - Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon - show signs of current or potential collapse.

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