When young political activists, both had been calling for resolute use of force and for armed struggle, the expert pointed out.
"If such political leaders as these have come to today's understandings, it means they have made a spectacular stride. Violence has led to nothing, as we know. The conflict was now subsiding now flaring up again with renewed force. It never helped to settle any problems. Tensions were escalating, and that was all.
"I don't think such a serious stride to meet each other halfway has ever been made throughout the conflict."
There are major forces out for armed struggle against Israelis. As the Russian political expert sees it, Mahmoud Abbas will be unable to take those forces under firm control in one fell swoop. To replace the Palestinian ideology of war with the ideology of creativity is of tremendous importance to him. As for Ariel Sharon, he will also tackle a formidable task-to convince the Israeli public that peaceful coexistence with Arabs is at all possible.
"Abbas and Sharon will both go down into history as peacemaking political leaders. To all appearances, they will not retain their present posts for long-too many are loth to see stability coming in. But brave endeavor is a noble thing. If those leaders stay on the road they have taken, they will make serious hopefuls for the Nobel Peace Prize," said Mr. Oznobischev.