2006 News Story

Saudi Ambassador calls for greater cooperation to foster peace in the region

  Prince Turki and Rev. Scott Pilarz

Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal underscored the importance of greater international cooperation to bring peace and stability to the Middle East region in remarks at the University of Scranton last night.

Prince Turki noted that Saudi Arabia has long been a leading voice for peace and stability in the region. He outlined the Kingdom’s efforts to foster dialogue with Iran, assist the Lebanese people, and establish peace in Iraq. 

“Saudi Arabia wants to see the full potential of this beautiful region realized. There is no reason why the Middle East can not flourish into a vibrant and prosperous region, as it once was,” he said. “To see this accomplished, and to witness a lasting peace, we must take a comprehensive and coordinated approach.”

These various issues in the region should not be approached separately, Prince Turki warned. A comprehensive strategy is needed to address them that begins with the root of the problem: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

To that end, the ambassador called on the international community to press for a resolution to the conflict, with the Road Map for Peace and the Abdullah Peace Plan as a basis.

“Since peace is manifestly in the interest of the region and the world at large, it is that much more incumbent on leading powers, including Saudi Arabia and the United States, to be consistent – and insistent – in moving Palestine and Israel towards the known outlines of a durable settlement,” he said.

“When this issue is removed from the table – or at the very least, allowed to move towards resolution – then others who use it to justify violence or misadventure will be quieted.”

Prior to his speech, Prince Turki held a brief press conference. He also attended a dinner held in his honor by the president of the university, the Reverend Scott R. Pilarz.

Prince Turki was also honored by Scranton Mayor Christopher Doherty, who named the ambassador a Distinguished Citizen of the city.

Transcript of Prince Turki’s remarks