Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal stressed the importance of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in an address titled “Considerations for a New Age of Diplomacy” at the Georgetown University President’s Classroom Future World Leaders Summit last night.
In his remarks, Prince Turki said that globalization and the advent of the Information Age has brought about an increasing global interdependency and changed the face of diplomacy.
“The old rules no longer apply. We now live in a world in which national borders are blurred, hierarchies have been flattened, and ambiguity about our allies is heightened,” he said.
As a result, today’s challenges require international cooperation, he said: “Nations can no longer define their strength solely by individual might; they must define it by the level of cooperation they can achieve to reach their goals.”
A prime example of the need for greater cooperation among nations is the current crisis in Lebanon, Prince Turki remarked. He also warned that the situation in Lebanon has grown out of the deeper problem, which is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“The situation in Lebanon should not be allowed to be a distraction from the fact that we all know what the solution to this deeper conflict is,” Prince Turki said. “The Palestinians know it; the Israelis know it; the Americans know it; the Saudis know it. It is a two-state solution, primarily dealing with a piece of territory that will have to be settled between these two peoples.”
The ambassador called on the United States to move the peace process ahead. Saudi Arabia in particular supports the Arab Peace Intiative proposed by then-Crown Prince Abdullah at Beirut in 2002, he noted.
“In this new age of diplomacy – in which the problems of one nation or one people are the problems of the world – it is imperative we truly consider how our political decisions impact the people, not just of our particular nations but those of the global community,” he said.
“Because it is their well being that is ultimately affected. And it is within their power to create change.”