On Feb. 2, 2010, the Baker Institute published a report that offers concrete recommendations to U.S. negotiators on the territorial component of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. "Getting to the Territorial Endgame of an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Settlement" draws on nearly two years of discussions between a working group of Israelis and Palestinians convened under the aegis of the institute"s Conflict Resolution Forum and chaired by Baker Institute Founding Director Edward P. Djerejian.
The Israeli and Palestinian participants in the discussions were former officials, both civilian and military, academics, experts from various organizations and individuals from the private sector. Drawing on their deliberations and the proposed options for a final territorial agreement, the report finds that a United States bridging proposal on the territorial component of peace based on the line of June 4, 1967, with agreed-upon swaps and modifications could be introduced at the right time and, depending on actual political circumstances, serve as a guide to enable gradual progress, step by step. The contours of this territorial bridging proposal are outlined in the report, as well as the need to prepare the necessary planning tools to achieve a successful outcome. Exploring the phasing of the relocation and dismantlement of settlements over a period of time will be an important part of any compromise solution.
"No agreement will please every constituency on either side," said Djerejian, who is a former U.S. ambassador to Syria and to Israel, as well as former assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. "But this report can provide the respective governments with a heads up on significant problems and contentious issues that they most likely will encounter in actual negotiations, and, at the same time, provide insights into where differences could be narrowed and agreements reached."
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