A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, June 26, 2009

More Signs of Back-Channel Diplomacy

A piece in Al-Masry al-Youm noting that the Qatari Prime Minister has met with Omar Suleiman under Saudi auspices in an attempt to patch things up between Qatar and Egypt. (The Qatari PM, who is also Foreign Minister, is quoted as saying that there are no tensions between Egypt and Qatar, and they're all Egypt's fault. Go figure.)

But this is yet another sign that while we've all been focused on Iran these past two weeks, the back channels have been busy. The Saudis and Syrians are trying to reconcile; Lebanon is forging a new government; the US and Syria are moving towards normalization; and the Gilad Shalit situation is possibly on the verge of resolution. I won't even link to the previous posts; just scroll down for the last couple of days to find them.

In the two weeks since the Iranian elections we have all, justifiably, been focused on Tehran. But there is clearly movement elsewhere. Whether we are on the verge of some sort of breakthrough is hard to say: I've been around the Middle East too long to indulge in excessive optimism. But back-channel diplomacy seems to be producing some results.

1 comment:

David Mack said...

Another Obama effect? Healing breaches may become fashionable, at least for a time.