Sunday, August 27, 2006

[middle-east] israel and hezbollah dialogue?

The Age reports that Israel and Hezbollah are close to a prisoner exchange.

Israel and Hezbollah have reached a deal engineered by Germany for a prisoner exchange, an Egyptian newspaper reported yesterday.

"The prisoner swap between Hezbollah and Israel is to take place within two or three weeks, maximum, thanks to a German mediation, which is currently arranging the details of the exchange," the Egyptian state-owned daily Al-Ahram reported.

The newspaper cited high-ranking officials for the information. It said the swap could take place simultaneously or in two stages. The negotiations for the prisoner swap are not taking place through the Lebanese Government.

The interesting aspects for me are:

# even through Germany, they must really want those prisoners back to even contemplate negotiating with a non-state;

# would this be the precursor to renewed conflict or will Israel settle for the negotiated peace-keeping?

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