With peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians stalled, diplomats are in search of new ways to get both parties back to the negotiating table.
In a new conference report, the Baker Institute and United States Institute of Peace (USIP) discuss what some of those possible next steps might be. The recommendations are based upon the Nov. 2 conference "Twenty Years After Madrid: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward for Arab-Israeli Peacemaking," which was co-hosted by the Baker Institute and USIP in Washington, D.C.
The event brought together Arab, Israeli, American and European diplomats, policymakers and academics to draw lessons from the 1991 Madrid conference that might be instructive in the current geopolitical context.
The report's recommendations include a focus on ensuring that "Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation continues at the same time that the United States promotes Palestinian institution-building and economic development" as well as Palestinian efforts toward reconciliation.
Conference participants also warn against delaying action until after the 2012 U.S. presidential election.
"The prevailing view was that this leaves too much time for the situation on the ground to deteriorate to the point of making impossible a comprehensive settlement based on a two-state solution," the report states. "It is imperative that American leaders -- in addition to Arab and Israeli leaders -- act boldly and act now to restart direct negotiations."