Annapolis Summit: Peace Hopes and Turkey

Annapolis Summit, hosted by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brings Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas together in U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis.

The further attendees are from various organizations of Palestine and Israel, the Arab League, European Union, United Nations, Russia and China besides Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, France, Tunisia and Yemen. The multinational support elevates the hopes for peace. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad urged that this summit is a political show of the United States and Israel, which would not bring any solutions for Palestinians. Also in Israel a rally with main opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu took place against the summit; being a “one sided compromise” convention. Ayatollah Ali Khamanei of Iran and HAMAS called for protests. The main items of the Annapolis Summit agenda are the Israeli settlements and borders, situation of the East Jarusalem, Israeli West Bank barrier, Palestinian State, Israeli State, Anti-Semitism, Palestinian political violence, refugees and lastly the religious prayer places. Mentioned summit, aiming to draw another road map for the establishment of two democratic states in peace under the mediation of multilateral dialogues mainly led by the United States which is going to be released finally by the Annapolis Joint Decleration.
Through the four-day shuttle diplomacy carried out in October by Condoleezza Rice, sides are prepared to take some measures for peace. It is known that, Israeli side is persuaded to give up the West Bank; whilst Abbas articulated their demands on West Bank and Gaza Strip, and emphasized their insistence the following issues to be discussed in the summit; as refugees, borders and settlements, Jerusalem, water and security. President Bush called for “difficult compromises” to build peace up, from both sides. However, the absence of Hamas is bringing suspects for prospect objections to the results; since they declared any results of the Annapolis Summit threatening Palestinian interests will not be accepted by them.
Turkish FM Ali Babacan expressed that, this conference to be a vast opportunity for the sides to ascertain Middle East peace. In this month, Peres and Abbas came together in Turkey, before the Annapolis Meeting, and both made speeches in the Turkish Parliament expressing their enthusiasm for the peace. Turkish foreign minister Babacan told that the initiative taken by Turkey is highly appreciated by the European Union authorities. Besides, FM Babacan labeled the conference to be a ‘milestone’ for the Middle East peace process; where this time hopes are focused on an agreement document corroborated by all of the participants. He emphasized that demands of Palestinians have to be given priority in the conference; which would facilitate the way to the solutions and consolidation of two states residing alongside each other in peace. Moreover, the foreign minister notified Turkey’s willingness to contribute to the peace in the region. This wish also points out the stance of Turkey in the process.


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