December 22, 2009

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Report: Netanyahu has agreed to U.S. terms for a Palestinian state Israel and the United States have unofficially reached agreement on the terms of negotiations for a Palestinian state in the entire West Bank, a report said. The report by the Middle East Forum asserted that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. envoy George Mitchell have reached agreement on the terms of reference for final status negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. The report, authored by veteran policy analyst Steven Rosen, said Netanyahu has become committed to a U.S. plan for a Palestinian state throughout the West Bank, Middle East Newsline reported. “But Netanyahu has accepted a solution based on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s formulation: ‘an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements,’” the report, titled “The Mideast Peace Deal You Haven’t Heard About,” said. Rosen has been regarded as one of the most authoritative U.S. analysts on Israel. For 23 years, Rosen served as foreign policy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the chief lobbying group for Israel, and was recently appointed director of the Washington Project at the Middle East Forum. Over the last year, Rosen and another former AIPAC staffer were prosecuted and cleared of charges of espionage for Israel.
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China’s strategic alliance with Iran is off most radar screens Since the 1990s China has successfully been expanding its influence in the Middle East and Iran in particular without attracting the attention of the global community. China views Iran as a significant potential ally in its attempts to counter-balance western power. Clearly Iran serves as a major source of oil. In addition, it is a leading geopolitical player in the region, capable of heavily affecting the political balance in the Middle East. In addition to energy, China is extensively involved in many areas of Iran’s economic development. To help develop Iran’s economy, empower it, and open up consumer markets for Chinese-made goods as well as investment opportunities have become China policy priorities. More than 100 Chinese state companies are working in Iran to help build infrastructure projects-highways, ports, shipyards, airports, dams, steel complex and more. One becomes impressed by the supply of inexpensive Chinese products in the supermarkets and department stores of Tehran and other large Iranian cities like Esfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad. Two-way trade reached $ 11 billion in 2008. China, Russia and Iran have all become major players in the Asian Energy Security Grid, which was established to counter perceived Western hegemony over the World’s energy resources. Furthermore Iran is a passive member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which sets out to promote Beijing’s interests. Established in June of 2001, the SCO is an expansion of the “Shanghai Five,” a regional grouping begun in 1996. China appears to be receptive to Iranian efforts to expand its role in this grouping.

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