The Baker Institute Conflict Resolution Program is actively involved in the formulation of policy analysis and proposals to decision-makers, with a special focus on the broader Middle East. The program is chaired by Baker Institute founding director Edward P. Djerejian.
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In February 2010, the Baker Institute published “Getting to the Territorial Endgame of an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Settlement,” which offers concrete recommendations to U.S. negotiators on the territorial component of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. The report draws on nearly two years of discussions held by a working group of Israelis and Palestinians chaired by Djerejian, who previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Israel and to Syria, as well as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. Specifically, the report determined that a United States territorial bridging proposal — based on the line of June 4, 1967, with agreed-upon swaps and modifications — could enable progress in negotiations. The contours of such a proposal are outlined in the report, as well as the need to prepare the necessary planning tools to achieve a successful outcome. The Israeli-Palestinian working group also provided policy recommendations in the December 2005 policy report “Trilateral Action Plan for Roadmap Phase I Implementation.”
Building on the 2010 territorial report, the Baker Institute Conflict Resolution Program in March 2013 released a special report that lays out specific recommendations for the U.S. administration to advance prospects for a two-state solution. Titled “Re-engaging the Israelis and the Palestinians: Why an American Role in Initiating Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations is Necessary and How It Can Be Accomplished,” the report is the result of a year-long project involving Israeli and Palestinian working groups chaired by Edward P. Djerejian, the institute's founding director and former U.S. ambassador to Syria and to Israel. The report contends that proactive U.S. engagement is "the only policy option that has the potential of creating a realistic policy trajectory of peace and stability building in the Middle East and re-establishing U.S. leadership in the region," Djerjeian said.
From 2002 to 2005, Djerejian convened a U.S.-Syria dialogue that brought together current and former officials representing each nation as well as academics and private and public sector representatives. Participants included the then-Syrian deputy foreign minister and the then-assistant U.S. secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Uri Sagie, Baker Institute’s first Isaac and Mildred Brochstein Fellow in Middle East Peace and Security in Honor of Yitzhak Rabin, authored the study “The Israeli-Syrian Dialogue: A One-way Ticket to Peace?”
The Baker Institute Conflict Resolution Program has been actively involved in 2012 with the U.N.-Arab League Envoy and Special Representative Kofi Annan on how to promote a sustainable political transition in Syria. In March 2013, the institute issued a special report that highlights the deepening challenges Syria faces and provides 10 substantive policy recommendations for the U.S. government in securing a multi-ethnic, democratic Syria. The report, "Syria at the Crossroads: U.S. Policy and Recommendations for the Way Forward," was authored by Baker Institute founding director Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian and Andrew Bowen, the institute's Scholar for the Middle East.
The Baker Institute is one of several think tanks that were an integral part of the Iraq Study Group Report, a congressionally mandated, bipartisan effort to take a fresh look at the current and prospective situation on the ground in Iraq, its impact on the surrounding region and the consequences for U.S. interests. The group was led by The Honorable James A. Baker, III, 61st secretary of state and honorary chair of the Baker Institute, and The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton, former U.S. congressman and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Prior to the Iraq War in 2003, the Baker Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations jointly published the report “Guiding Principles for U.S. Post-Conflict Policy in Iraq.”
Armenia and Azerbaijan
The Baker Institute has been involved in the Caucasus on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Representatives from the institute and the United States Institute of Peace collaborated on a second-track diplomacy mission, meeting with the top leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to provide specific recommendations on how negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue could move forward. The institute has also remained engaged with Armenian-Turkish reconciliation efforts and is exploring the establishment of ties with Turkish and Armenian think tanks.