Jan 12, 2021
Political pundits had been initially shocked by the assembly of the Middle East Quartet — made up of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — in Cairo on Monday. After all, the incoming US president has but to be inaugurated, Israel is holding common elections in March that may see the downfall of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and even the Palestinians are poised to have their very own elections.
But the assembly in Cairo needs to be seen as immediately tied to those potential management modifications. The quartet seems to be attempting to organize itself for the post-Donald Trump period, which is anticipated to see quite a lot of regional modifications.
Wadie Abunassar, director of the Haifa-based International Center for Consultations, informed Al-Monitor the talks in Cairo are usually not consequential in and of themselves. He famous, nevertheless, that “the assembly may be necessary as a sounding board for what is going to occur within the coming years.”
Riyad Mansour, head of the Palestinian delegation to the UN, informed Al-Monitor there may be hope that the modifications that befell within the United States lead us to consider that our thought of a collective approach to world issues can be utilized within the Palestine context. “Our policy is to have a collective approach in dealing with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. This was reflected in the speech and statements of President [Mahmoud] Abbas at the UN last October.”
Mansour stated the Palestinian chief urged the UN secretary-general to organize for a world peace convention. “The quartet is the first step to return to the collective approach. We don’t want the sole American role in the peace process, which has been disastrous in recent years.” Mansour famous that persevering with on the identical path that has not introduced outcomes can be an train in futility. He welcomed the necessity to increase the quartet. “If the nucleus of the international community is the quartet, we would like to talk about the quartet plus,” he stated. Mansour added that the pluses might be Egypt and Jordan within the first occasion and anybody else that may make a contribution within the subsequent occasion. He stated when talks in Annapolis had been set, few nations had signed on to affix. But inside a brief interval everybody wished to attend. Fifty nations ended up collaborating within the peace talks at Annapolis, he stated.
The Palestinian UN diplomat stated the alerts coming from US President-elect Joe Biden’s camp have been optimistic. “I can tell you that the signals from the Biden administration during the election process and since have been positive. They have talked about multilateralism and the return for the role of the UN. All these signs of a collective approach in dealing with global issues are welcomed. Just like they are dealing with climate change in a multilateral approach, they need to also deal with the Palestinian-Israeli issue in the same spirit.”
The outcomes of the November US elections have already compelled the move of the assorted political chess items. Already even earlier than the quartet assembly befell, Turkey’s president seems to have began his post-Trump plans by attempting to enhance relations with Israel and among the Arab states. Turkey despatched an envoy to Tel Aviv In December after an absence of two years, and the Turkish authorities seems to be extending an olive department in the way in which of Egypt and the Gulf states.
Saudi Arabia, anticipating a Biden administration rapprochement with Iran, all of the sudden determined to finish the Gulf dispute that witnessed a three-year air and land siege on their tiny Gulf neighbor. The siege was lifted, and the leaders made up with hugs (regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic) between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, in addition to a private experience chauffeured by Salman within the historic Saudi city of al-Ula.
The Palestinian break up additionally witnessed sudden motion as the top of the Hamas politburo agreed in writing to the calls for of Abbas and the PLO, paving the way in which for legislative elections to be adopted by a nationwide unity authorities after which presidential elections — all inside the coming six months.
Egypt and Qatar, who’ve been bitter enemies, seem to even be reconciling as Trump’s so-called “favorite dictator” is anticipating a less-friendly president in Washington and realizes he wants to fix relations with each Qatar and Turkey each for financial and political causes.
The quartet had final met in Amman in September; on the time, concern over annexation was excessive on the agenda. For now, Egypt is telegraphing that the present purpose is extra immediately associated to the push for the two-state resolution. “The participants will urge the Palestinian and Israeli sides to resume negotiation in order to reach a just and comprehensive political settlement based on the two-state solution,” acknowledged the English-language Egyptian press The Daily News.
The quartet talks going down in Cairo with the presence of Jordan and Egypt seem like sending a transparent sign to the Biden administration of their willingness and that of the Palestinians for critical talks primarily based on a multilateral approach and never on the singular Trump imaginative and prescient.