The U.S. Must Return to Resolving Conflicts – Not Just Managing Them

In the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, as well as Ambassador to both Syria and Egypt, eloquently lays out a number of points that several of CALME’s luminaries have proffered in previous posts.  The crux of his argument is that the United States has led Israel and its neighbors out of conflict before by acting as the third-party peacemaker, and it is possible – and time – for the U.S. to play that role again.  He also reminds readers that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not operate in a vacuum; solving it is integral to bringing stability throughout the region.

Ambassador Djerejian’s article concludes, “President George W. Bush should [therefore] reiterate the vision of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace settlement that he presented in June 2002, including his explicit call for a two-state solution involving a Palestinian state living in peace and security next to the state of Israel, and make it clear that he will work toward that end with the international community for the remainder of his presidency.  This could give the parties in the region the political space they need to make the tough decisions and compromises for a negotiated peace.  This thorough approach to peace, which would bring all the Arab and Israeli parties together to address the issues on the Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian fronts in a parallel manner, could be modeled after the Madrid peace conference of 1991.

“All of the key issues in the Middle East – the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq, Iran, the need for regionwide political and economic reforms, extremism, and terrorism – are inextricably linked.  Nothing short of a comprehensive strategy can solve the problems, marginalize the radicals, and promote the values and interests of the United States and the parties in the region.  Washington has waged war in Afghanistan in Iraq.  The question now is whether it can muster the political will to wage peace as well.”

Ambassador Djerejian’s full article is in hard copy in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Middle East Peace, Palestinians, Two State Solution, U.S. Role

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