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The Arab – Peace Troika –

The Arab ‘peace troika’

Can the Arab ‘peace troika’ of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, produce an Arab solution to regional peace and security? Larbi Sadiki Last Modified: 14 Sep 2010 Saudi Arabian King Abdullah has been a significant beneficiary of the ongoing peace process, however can he further utilise Saudi Arabia’s considerable diplomatic might for the tangible service of the Palestinian cause? [Getty] One paradox stands out in the Middle East. The lands of the three monotheistic faiths – essentially messages of peace – remain awash in conflict. The Holy Grail is peace in this region. The search for it has included Arabs – despite orientalist stereotypes to the contrary.

Thomas Hardy’s apt observation that ‘war makes good history, peace poor reading’ sums up the shaky career of peace and peace-making in the modern Middle East. What must be done in order for peace to make good history and war poor reading? On the Arab side, the ‘peace-troika’ hints at possible answers. In order of historical peace-making with Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are the three Arab states that more or less today lead the search for the Holy Grail.

As the Arab answer to the potentiality of peace, the three states provoke questions about their motivations and roles in peace-making. All three engage with peace from different stand-points, experiences and practises of diplomacy. Understanding their similarities and differences could help elicit some answers.

Egypt & Jordan: Trailblazers of Peace

Egypt and Jordan remain the only sovereign signatories of peace treaties with Israel. Respectively, the 1978 Camp David Accords and the Wadi-Araba or Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty sixteen years later opened up a new chapter in the normalisation of relations with the state of Israel. Sadat’s diplomatic feat remains the recovery of the Sinai through negotiation. Cairo is given varying grades ranging from full to partial control over the Sinai.


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