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What Do Peace Envoys Actually Do in the Middle East?

For many years, the world’s powers have been sending envoys to the Middle East to secure peace deals. Given their lack of success, however, Omar Shaban asks what their point is.
The motorcade of U.S. President George W. Bush moves towards the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem January 10, 2008. Passing through a tiny "Door of Humility", Bush made a pilgrimage to the traditional birthplace of Jesus on Thursday in the first U.S. presidential visit to the occupied West Bank. REUTERS/Ammar Awad  (WEST BANK) - RTX5EYY
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The small triangle — with its three points of Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Jerusalem — has been thronged with peace envoys from around the world. They all seek to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Evidently, these efforts were all to no avail, despite the many envoys that were sent to the region, including envoys of the European Union, the UN's secretary general, the US administration, the Quartet, in addition to Chinese and Russian envoys.

This is not to mention the hundreds of international agencies, which are supposed to be concerned with security, development, refugees, environment, population and prisoners. While some of the international institutions working in the field of development and relief have played a significant role — that cannot be overlooked — in favor of the Palestinian cause and have been much appreciated by Palestinians, some peace envoys have failed to do the same in a region that has lacked peace for decades. This is a region that is scarred by war and has been suffering from political and military struggles for decades, despite the many peace envoys thronging its territories.

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