For the first time in 20 months, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to resume direct negotiations, scheduled for Sept. 2 in Washington, to talk about such thorny things as Israeli settlement activity, the borders of a future Palestinian state, and the right of Palestinian exiles to return to their homeland.
While President Bush may not be too keen on diplomacy with U.S. “enemies,” talks of a military nature might be more his cup of tea. An Israeli intelligence expert says that Sunday’s U.S. attack inside Syrian territory may have been the result of a covert agreement between the two states to kill an al-Qaida operative.
North Korean and U.S. envoys met for a rare bilateral discussion on Monday in a sidebar to the six-party talks. Both sides stuck to their guns, with the U.S. saying its patience was running out, and North Korea maintaining it would not end its nuclear program until both American and U.N. sanctions are dropped.