Ramon gave a good advice a week ago. Had Abbas THEN agreed to direct talks, he would have lost face with the Palestinians, after first insisting that Israel agree to the obvious: not devouring the West Bank while negotiating over its division. Moreover, the talks have no chance of succeeding with the Netanyahu government, but its failure might have caused another intifada, just as the failure of Camp David did. Today, though, the situation has changed. The Arab League gave its blessing to direct talks, thus giving Abbas political cover for his public. Moreover, it was disclosed that Obama made new promises to Abbas and the League that he will get a state. (Expected) failure of the direct talks will bring US pressure on Israel which will help bring down the Netanyahu government, as Jim Baker brought about early retirement to Shamir. Abbas should now agree to direct talks and may see his goal of the US working for him beginning right after the Congressional elections this year.
Rescuers find 3 more survivors from Taiwan earthquake; toll likely to exceed 100 (Reuters)
from the article: Ramon was right
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