Saudi Ambassador: US must take action on the peace process (10/17/2006)
Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal today stressed the need to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and urged the United States to actively pursue a solution.in a speech at the Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware. During his visit to the Tower Hill School, Prince Turki also met with a select group of students.
There are many challenges in the Middle East today, including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Iran, Prince Turki said in his remarks. But the Palestinian situation lies at the heart of the problem: “The cause of most of these issues ? or the factor that is making them more complicated ? is both clear and simple to understand. It is the dispute between Palestine and Israel.”
In addition, the conflict has become an impediment to international stability, and terrorists and extremists use it to justify their acts and recruit followers.
“The path to peace begins with peaceful coexistence between a Palestinian state and an Israeli state, and peace between Israel and the entire Arab world,” Prince Turki said.
Saudi Arabia has acted as a voice of reason and moderation, and has been working to foster Arab support for the peace process through initiatives such as King Fahd’s Eight-Point Peace Plan and the Arab Peace Initiative proposed by then Crown Prince Abdullah.
But the United States must act as well. “It is time for the United States to take action and do what it has been talking about within the framework of the Road Map,” Prince Turki said, explaining that what is needed is implementation of both the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative.
“US policy must change and move toward a solution. In fact, the Saudi government has been clearer and clearer on this point,” the ambassador commented.
While Saudi Arabia is encouraged by current discussions with the United States, encouragement is not enough, Prince Turki warned. “When it comes to Middle East peace, hope is too easily dashed.”