Israel: May 20, 2001


A former top diplomatic player, sidelined during the Clinton years, has returned to the area of geopolitics. Saudi Ambassador Bandar bin Sultan is an old friend of Secretary of State Powell, and recently defused a crisis in which Mohammed Dahlan (head of the Palestinian police in Gaza) was pinned down by Israeli fire. (Dahlan called Arafat, who called Bandar, who called Powell, who called Sharon, who ordered the troops to cease fire and pull back.) Bandar had been kept out of the Middle East and Gulf loop during the Clinton years because he has close ties to the US Republican Party.--Stephen V Cole


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