The Israeli-Palestinian peace process seems to be stirring, and the US is calling it 'very much alive.' But analysts doubt anything significant can be achieved before the US elections in November.
The dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process is showing signs of stirring – prompted by renewed Palestinian threats of a unilateral declaration of statehood, Israeli worries over the long-term implications of abandoning the two-state solution, and a recent series of quiet contacts between the two sides.
And then there’s the desire on the part of the Obama White House – which was scorched by its decision to make Middle East peace a top priority as of Inauguration Day 2009 – to avoid having the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rear up as a time-consuming distraction as it enters the fall presidential campaign.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met separately Wednesday with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, the latest signs of a renewed US interest in demonstrating that the peace process is not dead.
Yet despite the flurry of speculation the meetings have caused about prospects for a return to negotiations, the chances of anything substantive happening before the November elections are slim, most Middle East analysts say.
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