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Cairo talks on Mideast peace show key players preparing for post-Trump era

The latest meeting appears to be a signal to the new US administration that the Middle East Quartet and the Palestinians are serious about talks based on a multilateral approach.
Foreign Ministers of (L to R) Germany Heiko Maas, Jordan Ayman Safadi, Egypt Sameh Shoukry, and France Jean-Yves Le Drian, hold a joint press conference after a meeting to discuss the Middle East peace process, in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on January 11, 2021. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP) (Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Political pundits were initially taken aback by the meeting of the Middle East Quartet — made up of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — in Cairo on Monday. After all, the incoming US president has yet to be inaugurated, Israel is holding general elections in March that might see the downfall of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and even the Palestinians are poised to have their own elections.

But the meeting in Cairo should be seen as directly tied to these potential leadership changes. The quartet appears to be trying to prepare itself for the post-Donald Trump era, which is expected to see a number of regional changes.

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