The best outcome is probably an agreement to hold more talks, but that would be a step forward. “Iran said it was prepared to make an offer to major powers in talks on its nuclear program in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, after the United States proposed limited sanctions relief in return for a halt to the most controversial work. The first meeting in eight months between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – the “P5+1” – aims to resolve a dispute that threatens to trigger another war in the Middle East…The negotiations in the city of Almaty – which follow inconclusive meetings last year in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow – were expected to run through Tuesday and Wednesday.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/V4SxPZ)
A Third Intifada?
There are worries in Israel and Palestine that the death of a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody could spark a very big uprising among Palestinians. “Soldiers have mostly relied on nonlethal crowd-control weapons such as tear gas and rubber-coated bullets. In fresh clashes after Jaradat’s funeral, hundreds of stone-throwing youths faced off with Israeli troops at several military positions across the West Bank. Confrontations erupted in Hebron, where Israeli forces protect enclaves of Jewish settlers; near the Israeli-run Ofer prison outside Ramallah; and near the shrine of Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, which is protected by an Israeli military guard tower. Palestinians reported that more than a dozen people were injured by rubber-coated bullets, one of them seriously, and that a 13-year-old boy was seriously wounded by live ammunition in Bethlehem.” (WaPo http://wapo.st/YTPWF2)
CAR Rebels Threaten to Resume Fighting
Rebels in the Central African Republic say the president has not honored the peace agreement and have issued a threat to resume fighting. “Opposition figures and members of the rebel Seleka coalition did take up key posts in that government in February – but the insurgents said they were still waiting for the president to free prisoners and meet other demands. ‘We are waiting for Bozize to respect and implement the main points … otherwise we will be forced to take up arms again,” Nouredine Adam, a senior member of Seleka told Reuters. Seleka, a grouping of five rebel movements, launched its insurgency in early December, accusing Bozize of reneging on an earlier peace deal. As a condition of this year’s agreement, it demanded the release of political prisoners and the withdrawal of most of the foreign forces that were brought to reinforce the army during the uprising. (Yahoo http://yhoo.it/XxBplA)