ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Insiders at this week's Mideast summit in Annapolis say the fragile peace process was in danger of collapsing until the arrival of an uninvited guest.
Ayatollah Mugsy, a Texas canine cleric, was credited with restarting the talks and ushering in a new era of hope that the six-decade conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians can be resolved.
The White House sent summit invitations to dozens of countries, but officials at the ayatollah's Pug Life Ministries said that Pugistan -- Mugsy's disputed territory in the American Southwest -- was not among them. Some White House aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were appalled by the lack of respect shown toward the ayatollah, leader of the world's largest interfaith, interspecies ministry.
"We invited the international dregs of society, but not the glorious nation of Pugistan," said one senior White House staffer. "What's up with that?"
Despite the apparent snub, Ayatollah Mugsy arrived just as the talks appearing to be breaking down, with name-calling and hair-pulling rampant in the summit hall. Observers said the ayatollah calmly righted the ship and began to build a tenuous trust among the disparate parties.
"He said to them, 'The human ways have failed you time and time again,'" said one U.N. observer, who wished to remain anonymous. "Then he led them through some time-honored canine getting-to-know-each-other exercises. Basic stuff, but it really seemed to work."
Ayatollah Mugsy could not be reached for comment.