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Potential Peace?

The New York Times reports that Israeli and Palestinian leaders have decided to work towards peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas joined President Bush in Annapolis, Md., where he said a “road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," was established.

The agreement between Israel and Palestine simply sets up negotiations that should occur in the coming weeks. Key issues that must be discussed include Israeli's in the West Bank, Palestinian state borders, final status of Jerusalem, and whether Palestinian refugees can return to their homes in Israel.

Delegations from 49 countries and international organizations were present at the event held at the United States Naval Academy. Among them were China, Brazil, Poland and South Africa.

As a sign of how difficult the talks will be, violence broke out during demonstrations in the West Bank even as the leaders spoke, killing at least one, when security forces loyal to Mr. Abbas clashed with Islamists who brand him a traitor for taking part in the Annapolis talks. (New York Times )

Many believe that no matter the outcomes of negotiations, that to even have the two sides talking and working towards a solution is a victory.

Mr. Bush acknowledged that a difficult road lied ahead. “Achieving this goal will not be easy,? he said in the excerpts of his prepared remarks. “If it were easy, it would have happened a long time ago.? (New York Times )