Ambassador responds to Congressional letter to King Abdullah on the Middle East peace process

September 13, 2009

Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel A. Al-Jubeir responded to a July 31 letter by 225 members of Congress to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. In the letter, the Members noted the Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative and urged Saudi Arabia to make a dramatic gesture towards Israel as a confidence building measure to promote peace. 

In his response, which was released today, Ambassador Al-Jubeir said that “over the years, Saudi Arabia has taken clear positions that attest to its desire to see this long-standing conflict resolved equitably and permanently,” and outlined the requirements for peace which are enshrined in numerous international resolutions and contained in the Arab Peace Initiative.

Ambassador Al-Jubeir also reiterated the Kingdom’s position that an incremental approach to peace, or one built on confidence-building measures, will not succeed. “It has not succeeded over the past three decades and, we believe, will not succeed today.”

In the past, the Ambassador said, a number of confidence-building measures were undertaken, but no peace was achieved and that it is the Kingdom’s “firm view that resolution of this conflict does require outlining the final settlement at the outset, followed by prompt resumption of negotiations on all final status issues – borders, Jerusalem, water, security and refugees – with a deadline set for their early conclusion. The focus must be on the final settlement and on the final peace, not on an incremental process. This will make the final outcome clear to all parties, and thereby undermine the ability of extremists on both sides to delay or derail the movement to peace.”

Ambassador Al-Jubeir thanked the Members for their interest in promoting peace in the Middle East and underlined the importance of continued, active U.S. involvement necessary to effectively move toward peace: “It is also absolutely imperative for the United States to play an active and robust role in the negotiations, as history has shown.”

Text of Ambassador's letter

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