The White House is considering a proposal initiated by former Secretary of State James Baker to hold a Middle East peace conference without Israel. The United States would host the conference and invite Arab nations to participate, including Syria and Iran.
The conference would focus on Arab demands for Israel to withdraw from territories captured in the 1967 war.
A source in the US government said, “As Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the US to strike a deal without Jewish pressure. This has become the hottest proposal examined by the foreign policy people over the last month.”
Government sources said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Under Secretary of Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, and National Intelligence Director John Negroponte support the proposal.