Report calls for renewed Middle East talks

Nov. 14, 2006 at 11:54 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A report presented to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Istanbul, Turkey, calls for a reinvigoration of the Middle East peace process.

"We may wish to think of the Arab-Israeli conflict as just one regional conflict amongst many," Annan said in a speech Monday. "But, as I told the General Assembly in September, it is not. No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge among people far removed from the battlefield."

The report by an international panel of scholars, politicians and religious leaders warned that cultural stereotypes were turning negotiable disputes into "seemingly intractable identity-based conflicts" and that the clash-of-civilizations theory has obscured "the real nature of the predicament the world is facing," The Guardian newspaper said.

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