This week I posted a series of blogs in advance of a briefing I’m writing for bishops taking part in tomorrow’s House of Lords debate. The final briefing encompasses recent developments in Libya, the process of political change in Egypt and its impact on the Middle East Peace Process. Like the debate itself, the briefing I suspect risks being a pudding without a theme.
If you don’t have time to read the final briefing here are the main conclusions
- Whatever the initial justness of the intervention, the allied coalition is now in danger of acting irresponsibly by employing a level of force that is disproportionate to the original aims of UNSCR 1973. Unless there is greater clarity as to the operation’s objectives then the prospects for a just and lasting peace in Libya is far from certain.
- The process of political transition in Egypt is unlikely to remedy the initial grievances and concerns that spurred protesters to overthrow the Mubarak regime. More could and shoud be done to invest in conflict prevention measures such as investing time and resources in helping to build up those institutions that might usefully protect the democratic space in Egypt.
- On the Middle East Peace Process the briefing suggests that the regional crises should be seen as an opportunity to press head with peace negotiations rather than as an excuse to defend the status quo. Negotiating in such a fluid environment poses short term risks to Israel, but these need to be judged against the long terms risks should a two state solution no longer prove viable.
As an experiment in blog writing the decision to post segments of the briefing was not a huge success. Good traffic but little interaction. That might have something to do with the length of the relevant blogs. Apologies.