PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN DELEGATION TO MIDDLE EAST HIGHLIGHTS URGENT NEED FOR PALESTINIAN STATE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rafi Dajani
Phone: 202-887-0177

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.