A Critical Saudi Peace Initiative

How significant is the Middle East peace initiative launched by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Saud? More than some might expect, for two reasons. First, as the violence between Israelis and Palestinians ratchets up to new levels, there is a yearning for something that might take the parties back to the negotiating table. Second, the Saudis have traditionally played a silent, watchful diplomatic game, waiting for others to make the first move. For Abdullah to issue such a public proposal--his diplomats call it a "statement of vision" and a "signal to the Israeli people"--is unprecedented.

Abdullah's plan, first...

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