World News Brief, Tuesday July 30

Israel and Palestine to resume peace talks; Japan and Chins to hold talks in effort to de-escalate territorial row; Cambodia's opposition leaders reject election results; China activates natural gas pipeline from Burma; John Kerry to visit Pakistan; Morsi supporters call for fresh protest rallies in Egypt; Italian court to make appeal judgement on Berlusconi's alleged tax evasion; and more

Top of the Agenda: Kerry Restarts Mideast Peace Talks

Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams will resume peace talks (Haaretz) Monday night in Washington, DC, after the Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners who have been jailed since before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. The release of the prisoners had been one of the major obstacles (AP) to the resumption of peace talks, which were brokered by U.S. secretary of state John Kerry. The talks represent the first direct dialogue (WaPo) since the peace process fell apart in September 2010, and will see Israel's Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho sitting down with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mahmoud Abbas aide Mohammed Shtayyeh.


"Just this month [President Obama] gave a speech defending vigorously his use of drone attacks. So we escalate our effort to kill terrorists while urging an ally to release terrorists from prison. It would be worth asking the administration how that position can be defended morally," writes CFR's Elliott Abrams on his blog, Pressure Points.

"Israel and Palestine need a two-state peace. It would involve bitter compromises on both sides, but no more bitter than those accepted by Nelson Mandela in putting the future before the past, hope before grievance," writes Roger Cohen for the New York Times.

"The two-state solution may well be on the line as well. As former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin warned recently, Israel is 'approaching a point of no return.' Against this backdrop, Kerry's great challenge is to apply some Kissinger muscle. Putting the full-court press on the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, however, is going to require a little more media savvy," writes Bruce Van Voorst for Foreign Policy.



Japanese Minister Visits China

A top Japanese minister will visit China (Reuters) on Monday and Tuesday for talks with senior officials in a bid to smooth relations soured by an escalating territorial row. A top government adviser also said Sunday that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe could soon hold a summit with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

CFR's Sheila Smith discusses Japan and the East China Sea dispute in this article.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia's opposition leaders rejected the preliminary results (NYT) of Sunday's election, accusing the authoritarian government of Prime Minister Hun Sen of cheating.

BURMA: China has activated a new pipeline bringing natural gas (AP) from Burma in a project that has raised concerns about China's energy project and its impact on Burma's locals.


Kerry to Visit Pakistan

U.S. secretary of state John Kerry is scheduled to visit Pakistan (Dawn) on July 31 after accepting an invitation on the sidelines of the ASEAN conference in early July. Kerry will hold meetings with Pakistani leaders and participate in the Pakistan-U.S. strategic dialogue.

This CFR Crisis Guide covers Pakistan's contentious history and evolution.


Morsi supporters call for more protests in Egypt

Italian court to make appeal judgement on Berlusconi's alleged tax evasion

 This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on