2002 Public Statement

Saudi response to President Bush's Middle East statement
The following is a summary of comments made by Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Policy Advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah. The comments were made to the media on June 24 in reaction to President Bush’s speech on the Middle East:
On the President’s Vision for Peace in the Middle East

“This was an important speech in which the President outlined a vision for a final settlement to this longstanding dispute.  Peace is not possible without the U.S. assuming a leadership role.  President Bush has now done that; and that is good news.”


On Palestinian Leadership

“The President spoke about reform, which is a topic of great importance to the Palestinians.  But it is up to the Palestinians to decide who their leaders should be.  The Palestinians are working on a constitution, and plan to hold open and fair elections early next year.  Who they elect is up to them.  Isn’t this what democracy is about?”


On the Establishment of a Palestinian State

We were pleased to hear President Bush’s vision for two independent states, living side by side in peace and security, and we welcome the President’s call for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the territories occupied in 1967 within a specified time frame. We now have a clear vision of what the end game looks like.”


On the Responsibilities of the Parties

“We are confident that final status negotiations can be completed in one year and that the implementation can be completed in one year, so that a final settlement can be reached in two years.”

“We all need to be actively engaged in moving the process forward.  Much of the burden has been placed on the Palestinians to create the institutions necessary to manage their emerging state and maintain security.  But how can the Palestinians move forward when their security services are targeted and destroyed, their freedom of movement is restricted, and their funds are frozen?  The Palestinians cannot build serious institutions while Israeli tanks and soldiers surround them.”

“The President was clear about Israel’s responsibilities:  freeze settlements, ease travel restrictions on Palestinians, ease closures of Palestinian territories, end the military siege of Palestinian towns and villages, end the occupation and withdraw to pre-1967 borders … he couldn’t have been any clearer.”