It is time to stop developing plans and start pursuing action, Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Turki said yesterday. Everyone knows that two states is the solution, he said, but he warned that goal would never be achieved without U.S. involvement and pressure.
During the question and answer portion of his address to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, Prince Turki recounted all of the peace efforts he had “lived through” that have dissected the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and put forth solutions, which will inevitably be the foundation to any agreement.
He said, “And there is nothing new to add to that equation other than the fact that all of these plans need to be implemented. The United States, in its Roadmap, has given a way to achieve peace and the establishment of a two-state solution. Couple that with the Abdullah Peace Plan of 2002 and you will get an end view to that process, which is two states, based on the ’67 borders, with Israel withdrawing from all Arab territories, including Jerusalem, in return for total Arab countries’ recognition of Israel and normalization of relations. And the only thing lacking in all of these things is that nobody has put their foot forward, and we have to be clear in our views on this issue.
“The United States is the only country that can do the right thing for everybody in the Middle East, not only because of the size and strength of the United States, but because the United States is engaged and enmeshed in our political situation and has been for the last 50 years or so, whether it likes it or not. And I don’t think it’s a matter of liking or not that should decide this year, but where are the basic interests of the United States? The basic interests are for peace to reign in our part of the world so that we can turn to more fruitful endeavors and more contributive engagements with each other.”
His full speech may be found here.