PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN DELEGATION TO MIDDLE EAST
HIGHLIGHTS URGENT NEED FOR PALESTINIAN STATE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rafi Dajani
Washington, D.C., December 18 – The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP)
has completed a tour of the Middle East that focused on promoting the idea
among regional leaders of the urgent need to establish a Palestinian state
as the key to peace and stability.
The eight-day tour (December 8-16) involved substantive meetings with
top political leaders including Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas and Acting Israeli Prime Minister Tzipi Livni. The 10-member
delegation of Palestinian-American board members of ATFP held candid and
thorough discussions with these and other high-ranking government officials
in the region.
In Amman, the delegation shared ideas with King Abdullah II, the Jordanian
Minister of External Affairs and heads of the Senate and the Parliament.
Frank discussions were conducted in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas and key Palestinian leaders, including several members of the Palestinian
Legislative Council. In Tel Aviv, the group met with Acting Israeli Prime
Minister Tzipi Livni and one of her key advisors. All the leaders expressed
their sense of the gravity of the present situation and stressed their various
efforts to help end the conflict.
Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli officials commended ATFP on its constructive
bridge-building role and its mission, approach, and activities. In all its
meetings, the delegation highlighted its conviction that the creation of
a State of Palestine is crucial for peace and is in the national interests
of Jordan, Israel, the United States, and the Palestinians alike. The delegation
argued strongly that the creation of a Palestinian state to live alongside
Israel in peace and security is essential for bringing about an end to conflict,
and fostering stability, cooperation, and prosperity in the Middle East.
“We were determined to emphasize with everyone we met that establishing the
State of Palestine is or should be a strategic objective of the Palestinians,
the United States, and all others, including Israel. We did our best to convey
to all the leaders we met with the urgent need for this and its centrality
to building a better future for all parties in the Middle East” ATFP president
Dr. Ziad Asali said. He added: “No one is benefiting from the present state
of affairs and all parties have a real stake in positive changes in the region,
the key to which is a State of Palestine.”
Dr. Asali thanked the delegation members for their dedication and active
engagement in peace building and expressed his gratitude to all those who
facilitated the delegation’s important visit and work.