US President-elect Barack Obama is about to inherit not just a nation entrenched in two wars but a world of instability and an entire Middle East that is sick with discord. While disputes in this region may seem eternal, there are reasons to be optimistic. If Obama joins with forces for peace and stability and acts boldly, his presidency could have a marked impact on world affairs.
Peace for the
By Prince Turki Al Faisal,
Chairman of the King Faisal Centre for Research & Islamic Studies,
Published: December 27, 2008, 23:32
The best medicine yet formulated for the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the Arab peace initiative of 2002. One must consider the prospect of “peace” in context.
There is universal agreement that the Palestinian people are under occupation and have been deprived of their land. It is beyond debate that their rights – which derive from divinely inspired texts, international law and the basic principles of justice and equity – have been ignored, as have all attempts to seek redress.
The Oslo Accords of 1993, the first direct agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis, marked a turning point. There was a true spirit of cooperation, expressed through the mutual desire of Israelis and Palestinians to live together in peace. The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 tragically ended this hopeful development.
By 1998, it was evident that the peace envisioned in
The Arab world has presented two clear proposals, the Fahd peace plan of 1981 and the 2002 Arab peace initiative. Both were endorsed by all Arab nations. The Arab world is willing to pay a high price for peace, not only recognising
In return, we ask Israel to pursue the just course laid out in various international resolutions and laws: to withdraw completely from the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, returning to the lines of June 4, 1967; to accept a just solution to the refugee problem according to UN General Assembly Resolution 194; and to recognise the independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.
If peace is truly the goal,
Shimon Peres has offered to discuss the Arab peace initiative anytime, anywhere, and we welcome this response. At this point, the Saudi government is constrained from direct talks with
Peace will require worldwide efforts. The
- Call for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Shebaa Farms in
- Work with the UN Security Council for a resolution guaranteeing
–Encourage Israeli-Syrian negotiations for peace. This would engage