On Shifting Ground

His Excellency Maen Areikat, Chief Representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization Mission to the United States, joins the Council to discuss the recent developments in the Middle East peace process and to take a look forward at the opportunities and challenges for a Palestinian state. President Obama has demonstrated a renewed commitment and urgency to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and much has been happening. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being pressured to stop settlement construction in the West Bank with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refusing to negotiate until this commitment is realized. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently released an outline to create a Palestinian state by 2011 through internal institution building. Meanwhile, tensions between Hamas and Fatah still remain. Reconciliation talks have floundered and new elections are scheduled for 2010. Mr. Areikat previously took part in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations at Beit Hanoun/Erez in Gaza and Taba, Egypt, in 1996, in Jerusalem in 1997, and was an official member of the Palestinian delegation at the Wye River negotiations in 1998. He recently returned from Bethlehem where Fatah held its first party conference in 20 years and elected a mostly new leadership committee.

Direct download: 10-27-09_Maen_Areikat.mp3
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