Senator Clinton Calls on Bush Administration to Engage Middle East Allies in Effort to Resolve Arab-Israeli Conflict
Commitment from Friendly Arab States Critical to Success in Upcoming Meeting to Address Arab-Israeli Conflict
Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton joined her Senate colleagues, led by Senators Schumer and Graham, in urging the Bush Administration to seek the support of America’s allies in the Middle East as they move forward with plans for a future international meeting on the Arab-Israeli conflict. In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, the Senators stressed that the inclusion and cooperation of Arab countries with close relations to the United States would be a critical factor in the success of such a meeting.
“Peace in the Middle East can not be achieved without a full diplomatic effort by the Administration that encourages America’s Arab allies in the region to take an active, and positive role in the process,” said Senator Clinton. As the Administration moves forward with plans for an international meeting to address the situation, it is my sincere hope that the Secretary of State does not pass up this pivotal opportunity to reach out to these nations to enlist their aid. However, we must also insist that their participation must be substantial, visible, and constructive as we take the next steps in attempting to bring peace and stability to the region.”
The letter to Secretary of State Rice is attached –
October 2, 2007
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Department of State
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice,
As you step up American diplomatic actions and prepare for a future international meeting on the Arab-Israeli conflict, we believe it is essential that other key players in the Middle East also step up and meet their responsibilities. The success of such a meeting, and ultimately the peace process itself, will depend on the cooperation we receive from the larger Arab world, particularly from those Arab states with close relations with the United States who have not yet signed agreements with Israel. Your ongoing efforts to work with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are critical, but so is the support these efforts receive from those Arab countries.
We know that in the past, the lack of sufficient support from some of the Arab states have made it difficult to reach earlier agreements. We also know that, for many years, many of these countries have been insisting on greater involvement by the Administration in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Now that you and the Administration are indeed more actively engaged in Middle East diplomacy on an ongoing basis, we also believe that these Arab states should step forward with concrete, positive actions to promote peace and stability in the region.
In particular, you should press friendly Arab countries that have not yet done so, to:
1) Participate in the upcoming international meeting and be a full partner of the United States in advancing regional peace;
2) Take visible, meaningful steps in the financial, diplomatic and political arena to help Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad govern effectively and meet their obligations to fight terror;
3) Stop support for terrorist groups and cease all anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement;
4) Recognize Israel’s right to exist and not use such recognition as a bargaining chip for future Israeli concessions;
5) End the Arab League economic boycott of Israel in all of its forms; and
6) Pressure Hamas to recognize Israel, reject terror and accept prior agreements, and isolate Hamas until it takes such steps.
We are encouraged that you are working hard to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. The governments of Israel and the Palestinians are also working as best they can towards that goal. However without a sincere commitment from our allies in the Middle East to be partners in this effort, peace in the region will remain elusive.
We appreciate your attention to this critical matter.