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German Intelligence Analyst Mediates Between Israel and Hezbollah

Spiegel writes about the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) analyst:
Since he's taken part in previous German-negotiated prisoner exchanges, he knows the bizarre rules of hostage-trading as well as the main people involved. The German government has twice been a successful mediator between Hezbollah and Israel, and the work is as delicate and demanding as it is prestigious.  The difference this time is that the new talks, technically, shouldn't be happening. Last year BND chief Ernst Uhrlau threatened Hezbollah that the German wouldn't be available if the militia tried to use kidnappings again as a negotiating tactic. (...) The German government was then appropriately reserved when a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, openly asked for negotiating help. "Right now the same officials from Germany would be useful again," he said.
Now the BND agent is negotiating on behalf of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Spiegel concludes:
Even if the current negotiations fail, though, the mission will already count as a success for the German government. Any failure in talks will lie at the UN's feet, but a success will bring at least some credit back to Germany.
Related posts in the Atlantic Review:
•  Perception of Germany in Israel,
•  NYT: German Intelligence gave U.S. Iraqi defense plan, and
•  German spy received US medal for support to combat operations in Iraq in 2003

Unrelated endnote: Why is Dailykos (picture) celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall already now? It's still more than two weeks until November 9th...

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While a German Intelligence analyst negotiates with Hezbollah for the release of Israel's kidnapped soldiers, what has the United States been doing lately in regard to the Middle East conflicts? Recently Secretary of State Condoleezza visited Israel for t

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