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A rare chance for informal dialogue on the Middle East took place among representatives from Israel, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US during a conference in Brussels last week entitled "Moving Towards an International Peace for the Middle East."
According to Melody Sucharewicz, last year's winner of The Ambassador reality TV program, who represented Israel at the event along with MK Ophir Paz-Pines, former Meretz MK Naomi Chazan and others, "Interesting things were said at the conference about Syria's readiness to advance towards peace talks and negotiations with Israel."
She said that "some representatives were supporting Israel and looking ahead to the future, while others were perpetuating and preserving the usual stands against Israeli occupation and totalitarianism."
"This opportunity for direct dialogue was constructive and future-oriented," she said.
After Sucharewicz defended Israel in response to an angry allegation made by a diplomat from the Arab League, the two shared a peaceful handshake.
The symposium featured round-table panels discussing topics related to the humanitarian and regional dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the intervention tactics of the European Union. The talks provided a forum for informal dialogue regarding the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of the situation in the Middle East.
The event was also attended by delegates from the European Union, the Arab League, the United Nations, and various NGOs.
During the discussions, the European Union was criticized for its policy of blocking funds, and Israel was widely condemned for its security checkpoints. Although no final agreements were reached between the opposing groups, the debates remained civil throughout.