The Critical Role of Prenegotiations in Ethno-national Conflicts

Cyprus and the 'Annapolis Process'

in Israel Studies Review
Amira Schiff

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Official negotiations between parties in ethno-national conflicts too often result in a deadlock. In such cases, the initial consent of opposing parties to sit together at the negotiating table is considered, retrospectively, to be merely a technical and ultimately futile achievement. The numerous failures of negotiations in such conflicts highlight the importance of studying the relationship between the prenegotiation process, which initially brings the parties to the negotiating table, and the results of subsequent formal negotiations, especially in view of the basic premise of the conflict resolution field's 'process school', that is, that effective execution of prenegotiation functions is critical for successful negotiations. This article examines the prenegotiation phase in two recent cases: the dispute over Cyprus in 2004 and the 'Annapolis process' of 2007-2008.

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