Academic Holds Little Hope for Israeli-Palestinian Talks

Professor Eiki Berg (Postimees/Scanpix)
7/31/2013 12:48 PM
Category: Politics

Eiki Berg, a Professor of International Relations Theory at the University of Tartu, has said it is unlikely that the new round of peace talks between Israel and Palestine will lead to a compromise, but that the United States, acting as a mediator, could improve its standing in the region.

“Israel has more cause to play the security card and is less ready for compromise on topics that could threaten security,” Berg told uudised.err.ee on Tuesday, noting that the state's security concerns made it particularly inflexible on matters of borders and the rights of Palestinians.

Israel's policy of continued settlement expansion has undermined Palestinians' trust in the talks, he said.

Berg said the turmoil in Egypt and Syria's civil war have also had a negative effect on the current round of talks.

The talks are being mediated by the United States as part of President Barack Obama's strategy of long-term improvement in relations between the two sides. The US is also lobbying to improve its own standing in the region, trying to appear more neutral, Berg said.

Russia and EU moving in

Tallinn University international relations lecturer Toomas Alatalu told uudised.err.ee today that Russia has been increasing its political presence in the region with the role it is playing in the Syrian conflict and having President Vladimir Putin attend the inauguration ceremony for the new Iranian president this week.

Meanwhile, the EU's top foreign policy representative, Catherine Ashton, recently visited Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi, who is currently in detention.

“Only the Deputy Secretary of State of the US has visited post-coup Egypt - with US stock at a low point for a number of reasons and supporters of the now former president, Mohammed Mursi, preferring the EU a mediator,” Alatalu said.


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