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AMSTERDAM — At one point during the press conference that followed Wednesday’s high-level meeting in Rome, Condoleezza Rice raised a hand to her face and ran it across her forehead. She knew the world’s cameras were trained on her and the image might put a dent in her carefully cultivated image as an unflinchingly cool diplomat facing a tough international crisis. Analysts had already declared that the meeting – designed to find a solution to the war in Lebanon and Israel – had ended in failure. Indeed, the negotiators did not reach consensus on how to stop the fighting. And [...]
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Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez was the guest of honor as the newest member nation joined the 30th Mercosur Summit in Córdoba, Argentina July 20-22. But it was Cuba’s President Fidel Castro whose rare foreign visit stole the show with some fiery rhetoric and the signing of a new trade pact with the Mercosur. Defiance of Yankee “imperialism” was a recurring theme at the summit. This might be expected for an event held close to the childhood home of Ernesto “Ché” Guevara. Fidel and his protégé Chávez peppered their discourse with anti-American sentiment. Along with President Evo Morales of Bolivia, the [...]
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Although it’s difficult to predict when Israel will decide it has done enough to ‘neuter’ Hezbollah as a military force, that moment may provide the international community with the opportunity to offer a long-term solution to the ‘border issue.’ But what will be the components of that solution, and will it be sustainable? Or are we now entering a more volatile era in the Middle East that makes a settlement highly unlikely despite the international community’s best efforts? An era in which Israel faces enemies who are better equipped, better organized and more resolute than its old nemesis, the PLO? [...]
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