Middle East: Finally Face to Face

Hostile exchanges open the Arab-Israeli peace conference, but the rat-a-tat is sound bites and speeches, not guns

Outside the conference hall there were a few grudging handshakes among advisers, but also shouted epithets like "terrorist!" and "murderer!" In formal sessions Arab, Palestinian and Israeli delegates would rarely even look one another in the eye as they denounced each other and laid their cases before the world, but nobody walked out. At the end of three days it was uncertain, in the most literal sense, where the talks were going: the delegates concluded the opening phase by quarreling bitterly about whether they should continue meeting in Madrid or move to some different venue.

This is a peace conference?


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