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Ambassador Hassassian at the MEDays Forum 2016, Amadeus Institute

Dec. 13, 2016, midnight

HE Manuel Hassassian was a keynote speaker at the Amadeus Institute in Tangiers, which holds an annual conference on world politics under the title, MEDays Forum. This year the conference ran from 7th to 10th December.

The Ambassador spoke at the plenary session of the Forum about a Post-Obama Middle East and its future under the new President Elect, Donald Trump. He spoke of the failures of the Obama administration in the region generally and, in particular, when it came to the Peace Process. He described how the region may look under Trump’s leadership and what impact it would he have on the Peace Process. Trump’s attitude, generally, towards the region and its people did not bode well for any progressive politics especially as his administration is filling up with personalities with a security and military background. These are not the kind of people, the Ambassador said, who are likely to bring parties to the negotiating table.

It is also not a source of encouragement that there are very worrying sentiments being expressed by his future administration when it comes to the two state solution and illegal Israeli settlements. The Ambassador concluded that, at least up until April 2017, Trump’s would be a lame duck administration and would not be proactive in the region. Meanwhile, Netanyahu is building more illegal settlements and putting extreme pressure on Palestinians living in Israel and using tactics to force an exodus. He is doing this while projecting himself as a man of peace and vilifying President Abbas as intransigent. It is a very pessimistic vision for the region and for Palestine.

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