I don’t buy the conflict of interest part. What I know about the Wataniyyah deal and others could well have been in the best interest of the Palestinians, besides, the Palestinian leaders are all mired in conflict of interest situations. What caught my attention is that Blair still thinks that the primary endeavor of the Quartet is “activating” the return to “direct talks between the parties.” That is not what Michael Mann, the EU spokesman, said only two days ago. Mann said that the focus now is “to maintain momentum in encouraging the parties to return to negotiations.” The Quartet is looking for best ways to keep up its energy and drive. This sounds like planning the next luncheon. The tragedy is that the Quartet’s high-flying lifestyle comes out of our pockets. Every taxpayer in all 193 members of the GA (soon to become 194) is footing the bill for the Quartet’s luncheons, dinners, and jet travels, not to mention that the citizens of the US, Europe, and Russia are coughing up double the share because they are represented individually as well as through the UN. This is what I call doing themselves well.
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Seoul: Pyongyang used money from joint factories for weapons (AP)