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After the reconciliation of the Palestinian parties Hamas and Fatah parties, and the subsequent eruption of violence between Palestinian activists and the Israeli army, the STAT conference was much anticipated. The conference opened with comments by the participants on the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, signed on April 27 in Cairo. The assumption was that, following the widespread revolutions in the MENA-region, the younger generation had demanded the union between the former hostile Palestinian parties. However, the political evaluation of the alliance comprising the interim authority remained unresolved. Despite some reservations, a fundamental change of the new coalition was not completely excluded.
The team attached the utmost importance to the resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and to the elaboration of guidelines for a permanent peace status. The resolution procedure for UN membership, planned by the Palestinian National Authority for September 2011, was explained. Possible reactions of the permanent member states of the Security Council were highlighted, including the political consequences for Israel in the case of the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state.
The discussion on possible Quartet Parameters was adjourned, due to the speech by US President Barack Obama. In his keynote address on the Middle East conflict, Obama expressed his appreciation of the Arab Spring, and argued for a peaceful two-state solution in Israel, rejecting a unilateral resolution that would be approved by the UN General Assembly. In general, the participants of the STAT conference reacted complacently to his speech. They had discussed many of the main issues in detail earlier in the afternoon, and their primary objective was to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. The parameters discussed focused on civil security and border recognition. The political working group criticized the lack of guiding mechanisms in Obama’s speech for the proposed peace talks. Organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Jerusalem and IPCRI, the economic working group will meet this week.