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Advancing Common Purposes in the Broad Middle East

By Robert H. Pelletreau, Reinhard Schlagintweit, Yoshiji Nogami, and Dominique Moisi

These four brief essays were prepared for the March 1998 annual meeting of the Trilateral Commission and refined for publication immediately thereafter.

Yoshiji Nogami and Dominique Moïsi write with urgency about the faltering peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Nogami sees “a pressing need for a push from outside” given “no endogenous momentum on either side for resuscitating the process.” Moïsi argues for more active European involvement given the current dangers in the region, not because of American inadequacies. Reinhard Schlagintweit writes about Iran and Iraq. A “positive Western policy towards Iran,” he argues, would recognize hopeful internal developments and “encourage Iran’s increasingly constructive regional role and its engagement in international organizations.” Robert Pelletreau, writing about both the “peace process” and Iraq and Iran, argues that “the interests and purposes of Europe, the United States and Japan vis-à-vis the Middle East are broadly parallel….[Our] differences are nuances, different ordering of priorities among crosscutting interests, or an overflow of the competitive instincts of our largely capitalist economic systems.”

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