Russian Mideast push could hurt US influence, if talks occur

September 8, 2016 11:15PM (UTC)

WASHINGTON (AP) — American influence over the Middle East could slip a notch after Israel and the Palestinians agreed in principle to Russian-organized talks in Moscow. That is, if the negotiations ever happen.

Russia has clamored unsuccessfully for years to host such a gathering, and the Russian Foreign Ministry's announcement Thursday included no date or agenda for the get-together.


But if the meeting occurs, it would further rattle the region's tumultuous ground.

The United States has maintained a stranglehold over all Mideast peace processes since the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, seen by Israelis and Palestinians alike as the indispensable mediator and only power that could guarantee a two-state solution. The Obama administration doesn't appear to enjoy that recognition any longer.

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