Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, US President George W. Bush,
and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Annapolis Peace Conference
Source: "Bush, Middle East Leaders Attend Annapolis Peace Conference," zimbio.com, Nov. 26, 2007
Gregory Mahler, PhD, Academic Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Politics at Earlham College, wrote in his 2010 book The Arab-Israel Conflict: An Introduction and Documentary Reader:
"In the final year of his eight years in office as President of the United States, George W. Bush sought to leave his mark on the Middle East peace process. On November 20, 2007, plans for an Annapolis Peace Conference were announced and nations were invited to come to Annapolis to discuss the peace process. The conference marked the first time both sides came to negotiations agreeing upon a two-state solution, and was also noteworthy for the number of participants who appeared and the inclusion of a number of Arab nations that had not actively participated in the peace process before.
The Annapolis Conference was held on November 27, 2007, at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The conference ended with the issuing of a joint statement from all parties. The objectives of the conference were an attempt to produce a substantive document on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the lines of President George W. Bush's Roadmap For Peace with the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state."
Hasan Afif El-Hasan, PhD, contributor at the Palestine Chronicle, wrote in his 2010 book Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead?:
"...President Bush called for a Middle East peace conference to be held in Annapolis, Maryland, on November 27, 2007, only one year before the end of his presidency. The conference turned out to be just a meeting where representatives of the Middle East governments and other international organizations were invited to witness another start of peace negotiations. Olmert and Abbas had met more than six times to formulate an agreed on perception of the final settlement of the issues. Palestinian and Israeli negotiating teams held series of meetings in an effort to draft a joint document to be presented to the Annapolis peace meetings but they failed to agree on anything substantive. Their opening statements in the meeting reflected deep differences on how to revive the peace talks. The Palestinians wanted the pre-conference joint document to address future borders, Jerusalem and the fate of the refugees. But the Israelis wanted the joint statement to address these issues in general terms without mentioning any principles regarding the final status issues. Israel wanted the memorandum to include two points: a commitment by the PA to fulfill its obligations under the first phase of the 'Roadmap' and, secondly, a reference to US President George Bush's letter of guarantees to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on June 2004...
Despite the failure to reach a joint document for the Annapolis conference, Arab states including Saudi Arabia and Syria decided to attend it, each for their own reasons, but the announced reason for their attendance was the hope that it would jump-start the stagnant Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. The Egyptian President, Hussni Mubarak and the Arab League Secretary-General Amir Moussa talked about 'sincere hopes,' rather than optimism that the meeting would lead to success. From Olmert's point of view 'the mere convocation of the Annapolis meeting was considered a success' simply by showing up and sitting down with representatives of sixteen Arab states, some of them for the first time. Representatives from the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference and the UN and the European Union attended the meeting. Olmert would not commit Israel to any outcome or a deadline for the final talks. Arab states that attended the meeting in effect surrendered the Palestinian issue to the US government and the meeting became another milestone on the road to the illusive peace."