Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd says he’s cautiously optimistic about this week’s Middle East peace talks in Annapolis, Maryland. "I’m excited about the fact you now had news the Syrians are coming; the Arab League is participating. That’s very good news," Dodd said during a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids on Monday. "…But I’ve been down this road too many times in the past and watched our hopes get dashed here because expectations exceeded what the realities could produce."
According to Dodd, a workable agreement must include a secure Israel and a Palestinian state. Dodd, though, isn’t pleased with the way the Bush Administration has handled the lead-up to these negotiations. "I don’t like the fact that they’re raising the expectations too high on this. I think that’s a dangerous thing to do. It went from being a summit to a conference and now I think it’s a gathering. I think it’s wise to downplay the significance," Dodd said.
"We’ve had too many of our expectations raised, only to see them fail." According to Dodd, President Bush failed to capitalize on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that occurred during the Clinton administration, leaving ’til the end of his presidency this push for peace in the Middle East.