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Much Ado About Nothing? The Refugee Working Group and the Perils of Multilateral Quasi-negotiation

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Among the various negotiations that comprise the multilateral component of the Middle East peace process, the Refugee Working Group faces perhaps the most intractable and sensitive issue of all: the Palestinian refugee question. The experience of the RWG can best be described as one of ``quasi-negotiation,'' in which discussion among the parties has been hampered by differing views as to the role of the working group, and indeed whether it even represents a forum for negotiation. The implications of RWG's insertion in a broader system of linked negotiations is also explored, as is the impact of domestic constraints on the participants, and various efforts by the Canadian ``gavel-holder'' of the RWG to break the political stalemate within the group. Finally, the article concludes by assessing the potential role of mediation and multi-track diplomacy in addressing this sensitive issue.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, McGill University, Montréal, Québec H3A 2T7 Canada

10.1163/15718069720847988
/content/journals/10.1163/15718069720847988
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/content/journals/10.1163/15718069720847988
1997-02-01
2017-06-27

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