Middle East: Let the Game Begin

A peace conference has been convened, but old antagonisms and new accusations could turn it into a diplomatic marathon -- or a bust

By Washington's reckoning, the reply card was long overdue. But finally last week the Palestinians put their R.S.V.P. in writing. Yes, they would attend the Middle East peace conference organized by U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, the first full-scale meeting between Israel and the Arabs in almost two decades. That cleared the way for a joint U.S.-Soviet announcement that Presidents Bush and Gorbachev would both attend the opening of the much anticipated parley next week in Madrid. They had already sent out formal invitations to the parties, who had all, more or less, said yes. Declared a plainly pleased Baker:...

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