Foreign Policy Blogs

Negotiating Final-Status Issues

Tzipi Livni, negotiating on behalf the Israeli government, and Ahmed Qurie, negotiating on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, began talks on core issues today. It's fair to acknowledge the both sides are nowhere near agreement on any of the major issues. However, keep in mind the slow, yet significant progress made on lesser issues in recent months:

Israel releases 429 Palestinian Prisoners

Olmert denounces illegal settlements

Abbas institutes a security crackdown in the West Bank

Past history has shown that final-status issues typically illuminate the disparity on both side's positions, leading to the collapse of negotiations (i.e. Barak-Arafat). Theses discussions will be a good indicator for future progress or lack thereof.