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Determined to Reach a Common Objective

“We knew at the outset that the task would be difficult. We acknowledged that publicly and privately. We knew this would be a road with many bumps— and there have been many bumps—and that continues to this day. But we are not deterred. We are, to the contrary, determined more than ever to proceed to realize the common objective, which we all share, of a Middle East that is at peace with security and prosperity for the people of Israel, for Palestinians, and for all the people in the region. We will continue our efforts in that regard, undeterred and undaunted by the difficulties, the complexities or the bumps in the road.”—George Mitchell, special envoy for Middle East peace, remarks with Prime Minister Netanyahu, September 29, 2010

Middle East Analysis

Upcoming Events

The U.S. Agency for International Development and Conflict: Hard Lessons from the Field

May 17, 2011, 12:00pm – 1:15pm

From Afghanistan and Iraq to Pakistan, Somalia, and South Sudan, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, is engaged daily in trying to help some of the most troubled nations on the planet make a lasting transition to stability, open markets, and democracy. Few areas of the agency’s work are more challenging or more controversial.

Join us for remarks by, and a roundtable with, the deputy administrator of USAID, Ambassador

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Heard on the Street

    • Israeli Security Requires a More Effective Policy
    • Heard on the Street | Jun 15, 2010
    • Senator John Kerry (D-MA), chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, interview with This Week, June 6, 2010:

      “Israel has every right in the world to make certain that weapons are not being smuggled in after the thousands of rockets that have been fired on it from Gaza. And Israel has every right in the world, as recognized by the international community—because it is not just Israel conducting this blockade; it is Israel and Egypt. So you begin that Israel has

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    • An Integrated Approach to Building a Viable State
    • Heard on the Street | Jun 8, 2010
    • Neal S. Wolin, deputy secretary of the treasury, remarks, Palestine Investment Conference, June 2, 2010:

      “The two year-plan says, ‘People are the most important and most precious asset in Palestine.’ To make those words a reality, you are working to strengthen education, especially in technology, the sciences, and economics. Those investments—in institutions, in sound policies, and in people will help make it possible for private enterprise to flourish in the years to come. …

      “Let us be clear: the obstacles to

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    • Variety of Pressures May Alter Tehran’s Calculations
    • Heard on the Street | May 25, 2010
    • Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, news briefing, May 20, 2010:

      “I think first of all, it’s—as best I can tell, if the [UN] resolution [on Iran] were to be passed in anything like its current form, it’s actually somewhat stronger than I expected. But as I discussed with a lot of our allies, the importance of the resolution is twofold. First, it serves as a reminder of Iran’s international isolation, that all of the major powers are arrayed against Iran’s

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    • Integrated Military and Civilian Effort
    • Heard on the Street | May 18, 2010
    • David Samuel Sedney, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, and Brigadier General John W. Nicholson, Jr., director, Pakistan Afghanistan coordination cell, the Joint Staff, testimony, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “The Meaning of Marjah: Developments in Security and Stability in Afghanistan,” May 6, 2010:

      “Partnering and improvements in Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) training are accelerating ANSF growth and improving the quality of the force, with an emphasis on creating a force that is both effective

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    • Progress on Jerusalem Key for Israel
    • Heard on the Street | May 11, 2010
    • Brigadier General (Ret.) Ephraim Sneh, chairman, S. Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue, Academic College of Netanya, former Israeli deputy defense minister, op-ed, “When Friends are Mad at You,” Haaretz, April 1, 2010:

      “Without a genuine pause in settlement expansion and construction in East Jerusalem, Israel will continue to lose the support of friends and international legitimacy. … Israel should enact an open-ended freeze of settlement and outpost expansion, refrain from building new neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and stop construction

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    • State-Building and Negotiations: Creating a Virtuous Dynamic
    • Heard on the Street | May 4, 2010
    • Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, April 8, 2010:

      “There [is] a coupling between what is required from the technical side to prepare for establishing a State on the one hand and between what can be expected in the way of a political process led by the international society efficiently and effectively to accomplish the mission of ending the occupation. … Further, our eyes must be directed to the second track [the political process] that must move

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    • Consistent Mideast Policy
    • Heard on the Street | Apr 27, 2010
    • President Barack Obama, letter to Alan Solow, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, April 20, 2010:

      “For over 60 years, American Presidents have believed that pursuing peace between Arabs and Israelis is in the national security interests of the United States. I share that understanding and have made the pursuit of peace, including a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a top priority from my first day in office. I am deeply committed to fulfilling

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    • Presenting Damascus with Clear Choices
    • Heard on the Street | Apr 20, 2010
    • Senator John Kerry (D-MA), chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, opening statement, nomination hearing for U.S. ambassador to Syria, March 16, 2010:

      “Some have pointed to our disagreements as a reason not to pursue this nomination, but I believe just the opposite is true: We need an Ambassador now because we are at such a pivotal moment. Remember: Diplomacy is not a prize, it is something we do to advance our interests—and we should not fear forceful, principled engagement.

      “The

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    • Two-Pronged Strategy: Engagement and Pressure
    • Heard on the Street | Apr 13, 2010
    • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, remarks with G-8 foreign ministers, March 30, 2010:

      “Sanctions are part of diplomacy. We chose a two-pronged strategy on engagement and on pressure should engagement not succeed. But sanctions are a form of the overall diplomatic approach that the United States and others have made on this issue. And we think that the work that President Obama and the Obama administration has undertaken in the last 15 months to reach out to Iran, the people

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    • Shared Interests Highlight Need for Cooperation
    • Heard on the Street | Apr 6, 2010
    • Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, opening session of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, March 24, 2010:

      “It is with this sense of history that we are approaching this renewed Strategic Dialogue. The two countries have started the structured dialogue process in April 2006 and rightly focused on priority areas like the economy, energy, education, science and technology, and agriculture. In several rounds of discussions in Washington and Islamabad, proposals and specific measures for closer collaboration in these sectors were

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