- By Colum Lynch
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.
Less than 24 hours after the Middle East Quartet issued a statement calling for a resumption of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, the new Egyptian government, speaking on behalf of the nonaligned movement, doused it with cold water.
Mohamed Kamel Amr, Egypt’s foreign minister, said in a speech before the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday that "we have witnessed yesterday another failure by the Quartet to come up with a balanced vision to achieve the goal that we all know and approve of yet differ on how to realize it."
It remained unclear whether the Egyptian statement represented the start of a major move by Palestine supporters to undercut the peace talks, or was simply pre-negotiation posturing designed to bolster the Palestinians’ quest for a better deal.
But the Quartet statement’s failure to include a clear framework — or parameters — for talks, and the absence of a call for an end to settlements has infuriated key powers, including Russia, which is a member of the Quartet, and France, which is represented by the European Union envoy, Catherine Ashton. Some diplomats said that Russia had at one point during the talks threatened to pull out of the discussions.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy meanwhile was said to be furious that Ashton had refused to fully brief the French in the midst of the high-pressure talks and that she had failed to add stronger reference to the parameters to the statement. Last week, he pre-empted Ashton by presenting her proposal as his own. But after the deal was struck, France’s foreign minister issued a statement saying they were pleased with the direction the Quartet was pursuing.
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