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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Middle East: Annapolis Peace Conference;

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FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
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INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8842
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8462
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TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD BR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: MIDDLE EAST: ANNAPOLIS PEACE CONFERENCE;
SAO PAULO

"Seven Years Later"

Liberal, largest national circulation daily Folha de s. Paulo
(11/28) editorialized: "The Middle East peace conference in
Annapolis was little more than a photo opportunity. In objective
terms, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas agreed only sit to discuss the problem. However, the
peace process between Israelis and Palestinians was so damaged that
even this first small agreement represents an advance.... The fact
that 22 member nations of the Arab League have attended the meeting
is also significant.... The presence of Syria, a nation that the US
has accused of sponsoring terrorism, was especially praiseworthy.
The simple fact that Damascus sent its vice prime minister to the
meeting indicates a crack in the alliance between Syrians and
Iranians. One of the summit's undeclared goals was to isolate
Tehran, whose influence in the Middle East has been growing to the
detriment of that of the US. A still untouched problem is that both
Olmert and Abbas are weakened leaders, with low ability to negotiate
concessions.... George W. Bush decided to call the conference to
strengthen Abbas. The strategy worked out in this regard. For those
who expected poor results from Annapolis, the conference was
somewhat positive. But for those who hoped for concrete advances in
the peace process, the result is frustrating."

White

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