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3. The Middle East peace process




After what could have been a breakthrough
in early 1997 over Israeli withdrawal from Hebron, renewed Israeli
settlement activity stalled the Israeli-Palestinian talks. The
peace process was further marred by new outbreaks of terrorist
activity. There were no official talks between Israel and Syria,
and the level of violence in Lebanon remained high. Internal
fighting in Algeria worsened; conflicts in the Kurdish regions
of Turkey and Iraq continued; and Islamic terrorists struck in
Egypt, calling into question the government's assertion that
it had defeated them. One hopeful indication came in Iran, where
the pragmatic Mohammed Khatami was elected president by a wide
margin. Although the new president has widespread popular support,
he will face an uphill battle in trying to effect change against
the wishes of the religious élite.


Appendix 3A. Documents on the Middle East peace process

Appendix 3A contains excerpts from the 1997 Hebron Accord.