Last Gasps on the Negotiation Trail

Unfazed by the dead end reached by the U.S. and Iraq, other diplomats attempt to carve out a path to peace

For the entire 387 minutes that U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz met in Geneva last week, a brown manila envelope lay unopened on the table, mute testimony to the breach between their positions. The package contained a letter from President Bush to Saddam Hussein conveying in stark terms Washington's determination to see Iraq leave Kuwait. Baker had given Aziz a photocopy of the letter at the outset of the meeting. As Baker and the 16 other officials present looked on, the Iraqi read the message slowly, his hands trembling. Finally, he said he could...

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