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Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

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Middle East

Arab-Israeli Regional Cooperation

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We are convinced that what is required is a new approach which involves the wider region and the Arab nations, and which resolves not just the final status issues like borders but which also resolves the underlying issues of cultural acceptance and regional stability.

Tony Blair

An enhanced role for the region, which shares leadership of the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians, will increase all sides’ confidence and support a credible process.

The Arab Peace Initiative provides a mechanism for Israel and Arab countries to engage on a path towards a diplomatic settlement between Israel and the Palestinians and normalisation of relations between Israel and the Arab world. For the first time, the changes in the region provide an opportunity for a parallel process of engagement, rather than the sequential process on offer until now, with incremental progress on both Israeli-Palestinian relations as well as Israeli-Arab relations.

We work to ensure Arab partners take an active role in the process between Israel and the Palestinians. An involved region should boost Palestinian confidence in a process, as these partners can share the burden of peace-making, shore up the Palestinian position and help it to employ a more constructive strategy that will lead to an independent and viable State of Palestine.

“Normalisation” of relationships between the Arab states and Israel should be turned into a process with a set of inter-locking points to ensure that change is manageable. IME examines the potential for such new relationships in a variety of areas.

What is necessary is not only Arab support for a traditional peace negotiation but active engagement with it. With such a methodology in place, and a credible path to peace and Palestinian statehood established, then the opportunities for Arab-Israeli cooperation go far beyond politics.  The regional dialogue should encompass the full range of mutual interests. With the region undergoing deep economic re-structuring and change, Israel could both contribute to and benefit from participation in this transformation. In addition, civic society across the region should engage in cultural and educational exchange.

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