Saudi Foreign Minister Meets With Secretary of State Clinton

July 31, 2009

[Washington] – Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal today met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss a host of issues vital to both countries. The bilateral meeting and working lunch took place at the Department of State in Washington, DC.

During the meeting, Prince Saud emphasized the Kingdom’s commitment to working towards peace in the Middle East and expressed the view that “a bold and historic step is required to end this conflict and divert the resources of the region from war and destruction to peace and development.”

Prince Saud said that “incrementalism and a step-by-step approach” will not lead to peace, and that what is required is a “comprehensive approach” that defines the final outcome at the outset and launches into negotiations over final status issues. He continued: “The whole world knows what a settlement should look like – withdrawal from all the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, a just settlement for the refugees, and an equitable settlement of issues such as water and security.”

Prince Saud emphasized how the Arab world has taken a clear position for peace by unanimously adopting the Arab Peace Initiative at the 2002 Arab Summit in Beirut. The plan offers full and complete peace and normal relations in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from all Arab Territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem.  The Arab League has reaffirmed its commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative twice since 2002, most recently last year.

The Foreign Minister went on to say: “Israel is trying to distract by shifting attention from the core issue – an end to the occupation that began in 1967 and the establishment of a Palestinian state – to incidental issues, such as academic conferences and civil aviation matters…. Israel must decide if it wants real peace, which is at hand, or if wants to continue obfuscating and, as a result, lead the region into a maelstrom of instability and violence.”

For a complete transcript of Prince Saud’s comments, visit www.SaudiEmbassy.net.