The independent resource on global security

3. The Middle East





Many issues that confronted the Middle East in 1998
remained open as 1999 began. These included: the position of a new
Israeli Government on resumption of the peace process with both the
Palestinians and the Syrians; the possible Palestinian declaration of
statehood and the response of Israel and the rest of the world to such
an announcement; the continuing bloodshed in Algeria; the stability of
President Khatami's Government and his quest to liberalize Iran; and
the situation in Iraq. Any of these issues would be a serious challenge
to peace and stability in most regions. The Middle East must deal with
them all at the same time. 

each issue commands attention and concern, the Palestinian question
appears to hold the greatest potential to usher in either a new era of
reconciliation in the Middle East or a new period of confrontation.
Each of the other problems, with the possible exception of the Algerian
situation, will be made more complex and dangerous if the peace process
fails, although the success of that process will not, in itself,
guarantee solutions to the other problems. After eight years of
peacemaking, 1999 is the critical year. Ultimately, the Middle East
requires a new approach to security if it is to move beyond the
confrontations and bloodshed which characterized 1998. The successful
conclusion of the peace process is a sine qua non for the establishment
of a new approach.


Appendix 3A. Documents on the Middle East peace process

Appendix 3A reproduces the text of the Wye River Memorandum