News release from US Senator Dick Lugar:
Lugar says Palestinian UN maneuver â€˜ill-advised and counterproductive’
â€˜Israel always will remain a central pillar of U.S. foreign policy’
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Richard G. Lugar made the following statement today regarding the Palestinian attempt to unilaterally achieve statehood through maneuvers at the United Nations:
The path to peace in the Middle East depends on negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. For decades, that principle has been a fundamental part of U.S. attempts to help resolve this conflict. The Palestinian attempt to unilaterally achieve statehood through maneuvers at the United Nations is ill-advised and counterproductive. The sooner Palestinian leaders rededicate themselves to the principle of a negotiated settlement, the sooner we can find solutions that can bring an enduring peace.
During this tumultuous time in the Middle East, it is important to reaffirm that America’s commitment to Israel’s safety and security remains unshakeable. As a democratic state and a market economy, Israel stands as an exemplar in a region that is awash with political and economic uncertainty. Our close friendship with Israel always will remain a central pillar of U.S. foreign policy.
Historic changes in the Middle East pose very difficult challenges for the United States. We should recognize that there are genuine opportunities in the long run for the advancement of democratic values and the broadening of prosperity. Yet these are accompanied by severe short term risks, particularly amidst crushing economic realities, such as youth unemployment rates of nearly 60 percent in Egypt and Syria.
Americans have been moved by the power and speed of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution and by the resolve of Egyptians, Libyans, Syrians, and others to alter the course of their history, in some cases in the face of brutal oppression. I support calls for greater political inclusion, the advancement of basic human rights and dignity, and more open economies throughout the region.
We should work to ensure that the historic Camp David Accords endure (consistent with assurances made to me personally by Egypt’s interim leadership), that popularly-backed transitions underway will not be hijacked by extremist groups who would threaten U.S. and Israeli interests, that chemical weapons stocks in transition countries are secured and eliminated, and that Iranian influence in nations in transition is countered.
The United States has much at stake in the outcome. We must use the full scope of American influence to support a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous future for the entire region. This is important to our own fundamental national security, the global economy, and the security of Israel.