The aim of this essay is to assess the importance of pre-negotiation for successful diplomacy. Scholars and practitioners in the field have applied different meanings to the concept of pre-negotiation. Pre-negotiation is a preparatory process which is a vital necessity for successful diplomacy. According to Zartman, pre-negotiation is the discussion that precedes formal negotiations. "It begins when one or more parties consider negotiation as a policy option and communicates this intention to other parties. It ends when the parties agree to formal negotiations or when one party abandons the consideration of negotiation as an option." (Zartman 1989: 240). Prior to the parties sitting down together, the mediators use positive diplomacy to reach an agreement.
Pre-negotiation has been used on various degrees to bring opposing parties to negotiate. The essay seeks to evaluate two case studies; the Palestinian and Israeli conflict and the Falklands/Malvinas War. Both of these conflicts have utilised the pre-negotiation process to bring the parties to the negotiation table. It is noteworthy that neither of these conflicts is fully resolved but elements of pre-negotiation have been identified and used as examples. .
Saunders draws attention into the crucial stages in pre-negotiation. These include the definition of the problem, that is, what is to be discussed in the main table, followed by commitment to negotiate a settlement, that is, discussions of alternatives and an agreement to move to the negotiation process. It is during these stages that the time, place and who the parties and mediators are will be defined.
The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the most long-running disputes in the Middle East spanning for many years. It originated from a clash between the two nationals that claim the same land and the right to national identity. This situation has had many 'peace talks'.