A Chance for Peace in Mideast

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photoIsraeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met for the first time today in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. The summit marks a first, tentative step toward a possible lasting truce between Israel and Palestinians, following last year's death of longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Abbas is committed to end four years of violence against Israel, although the leaders of such militant groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade warn they will resume their bloody attacks if their key demands are not met.

Sharon said he would stop military action against Palestinians, and will battle his own party to do so. Also, after meeting separately with Sharon and Abbas yesterday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States will remain ready to step in, when necessary.

Tune in for a discussion on the crisis in the Middle East and the renewed efforts to achieve peace.


Steve Erlanger, Jerusalem bureau chief for The New York Times in Sharm el-Sheikh

Ian Lustick, professor of political science, University of Pennsylvania. He is author of "Unsettled States Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza" and co-editor of "Right-Sizing the State: The Politics of Moving Borders.";

Sari Nusseibeh, president, Al Quds University, the Arab University of Jerusalem, where he is also Professor of Philosophy. He is currently a Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University. He is co-author of "Jerusalem: Points of Friction — And Beyond" and "No Trumpets, No Drums: A Two-State Settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.";

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research at the International Affairs Center and author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Diary."

Yossi Beilin, long-time member of the Knesset, former Justice Minister and leading liberal voice in Israel.

This program aired on February 8, 2005.


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