This open process would yield a far broader understanding of the basic trade-offs for two sides to reach an agreement, thus creating a momentum towards settlement. Yet, when no compromise is acceptable, the reasons for this position will become clearer than ever.
The expanded knowledge of the central details of these conflicts would create a new perspective: much of the international community would be watching the words and assurances of those leaders within these dialogue documents. This would lead to a greater public understanding of the details of conflicts.
Amidst the battle of ideas taking place today, support for public talks will affirm a nation’s interest in not just the symptoms of international conflicts but also their underlying causes. Nations that do not fear open discussion will more likely see its principles embraced around the world.
John Connolly is the executive director of the Institute for Public Dialogue.