Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal addressed in Brussels yesterday the 14th session of the Joint Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Union (EU) on the topic of the Middle East peace process. The best way to strengthen the Quarter’s efforts, he declared, is to combine the ‘roadmap’ and the Arab Peace Initiative. The Arab plan contains elements that are more comprehensive as far as the final peace settlement is concerned, since it provides for peace not only between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but also between Israel and all the Arabs, including Syria and Lebanon. The two plans, he said, complement each other perfectly.
Prince Saud went on to deplore the recent setbacks in the peace process, and the ensuing rising tide of violence and extremism in the region, arising primarily from the path chosen by the Israeli government, a path clearly “in stark contradiction with all agreed principles and foundations of the peace process, including those of the ‘roadmap’ and the American vision of two states living in peace and security side by side where decent living conditions for both Palestinians and Israelis could be provided".
As for reform, Prince Saud affirmed that the GCC states were committed to this even before the so-called ‘Greater Middle East Initiative’ was launched, and that it is ongoing and cumulative.[ Full text of Prince Saud’s speech]