After the tour of the region this month by George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy, there’s hope that the preliminaries of negotiations can get started in February. Mitchell has been discussing with Arabs and Israelis “terms of reference” for the talks, and also side letters that would be given to each of the key parties. These documents are said to spell out in more detail the positions the U.S. would take as the talks move forward.The first step might be “proximity talks,” in which Mitchell shuttles back and forth between delegations, exchanging positions. Palestinian leader Abu Mazen is said to be ready to get on the peace-process train again; so is Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.
Davos Diary – Reason for optimism on Israel-Palestine?