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With ‘shuttle diplomacy,’ step by step, Kissinger chased the possible in the Mideast

by Lucas Garcia
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Diplomatic Legacy

The text you provided discusses Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, particularly during and after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Kissinger, as the United States secretary of state, played a significant role in negotiating agreements between Israel, Egypt, and Syria, which helped stabilize borders in the region for nearly half a century. These agreements also marginalized the Soviet Union’s influence and established the U.S. as a key negotiator in the Middle East.

However, it’s important to note that while Kissinger’s diplomacy contributed to regional stability, it did not resolve the long-standing issue of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This conflict remains a contentious and unresolved matter in the Middle East, with ongoing tensions and violence, including attacks by groups like Hamas.

Kissinger, who was of Jewish descent and had fled Nazi Germany, expressed concern about Israel facing threats not only from states like Iran but also from militant groups like Hamas. He emphasized the need for the United States to continue supporting Israel and play a direct role in regional negotiations.

Kissinger’s approach to diplomacy in the Middle East was characterized by incremental steps and shuttle diplomacy, where he personally negotiated with leaders from conflicting countries. This method aimed to reduce conflicts, buy time for parties to reconcile, and eventually reach peaceful solutions. While Kissinger’s efforts led to some agreements and peace treaties, his legacy in the region remains a subject of debate, with critics pointing to the sidelining of Palestinian interests in the process.

Overall, Henry Kissinger’s role in Middle East diplomacy was significant in stabilizing the region, but the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains unresolved, and opinions about his legacy vary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Diplomatic Legacy

What were Henry Kissinger’s key diplomatic achievements in the Middle East?

Henry Kissinger’s key diplomatic achievements in the Middle East included negotiating agreements between Israel, Egypt, and Syria after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, which stabilized borders and sidelined the Soviet Union.

Did Kissinger’s diplomacy resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict?

No, Kissinger’s diplomacy did not resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The issue remained unresolved, leading to ongoing tensions and violence in the region, including attacks by groups like Hamas.

What was Kissinger’s approach to Middle East diplomacy?

Kissinger’s approach involved incremental steps and shuttle diplomacy, where he personally negotiated with leaders from conflicting countries. This method aimed to reduce conflicts, buy time for reconciliation, and eventually reach peaceful solutions.

How is Kissinger’s legacy in the Middle East viewed?

Kissinger’s legacy in the Middle East is a subject of debate. While his diplomacy contributed to stability, critics argue that it sidelined Palestinian interests and made it challenging to address underlying issues between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

What did Kissinger suggest regarding Israel’s current challenges?

Before his death, Kissinger suggested that Israel should deal not only with state threats like Iran but also with the fury of militant groups like Hamas. He emphasized the need for continued U.S. support and direct involvement in regional negotiations.

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