2005-01-18-Rice-Mideast Peace Process
says she will be “personally” involved
Secretary of State in Mideast peace process
George Bush’s nominee for Secretary of
State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, told the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee considering her confirmation today (Tuesday,
Jan. 18) that she expects to be “personally” involved in the Middle East
laid out what expectations the Bush administration has for both Israel and for
the Arab states when negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians resume.
must do its part to improve the conditions under which Palestinians live and
seek to build a better future,” she said.
“Arab states must join to help—and deny any help or solace to those
who take the path of violence.
also said that the Bush administration takes “great encouragement from the
elections just held for a new Palestinian leader…America seeks justice and
dignity and a viable, independent and democratic state for the Palestinian
people. We seek security and peace for the State of Israel.”
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif,) introducing Rice at today’s hearing, said
because of Rice’s close relationship to President Bush. leaders around the
world will know that she speaks for him.
twice in prepared remarks that Rice came to government from Stanford University
— Feinstein’s own alma mater—the senior senator from California said:
foreign policy today is at a crossroads. In Iraq, across the Middle East, in
North Korea, in our relations with China, and in so many other places, we face
major challenges. I would submit that Dr. Rice has the skill, judgment, and
poise to lead in these difficult times. If confirmed, she will have the deep,
personal trust and confidence of the President. Dr. Rice has been by his side
for every crucial national security decision in the last four years.
said the Democratic senator, “the problems we face abroad are complex and
sizable. If Dr. Rice’s past performance is any indication, though, we can rest
easy. It is difficult to know ahead of time how anyone will perform as Secretary
of State. Time and events test vision, facile thinking, and resolute problem
solving. But this is a remarkable woman.”
18-member committee is chaired by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind) with Sen. Joseph
Biden (D-Del) serving as the ranking member. Members of
the Jewish community who serve on the committee are Democrats Russell
Feingold of Wisconsin and Barbara
Boxer of California and Republican Norm
Coleman of Minnesota.
in her opening statement, said there are three great tasks for American
diplomacy. “First, we will unite the community of democracies in building an
international system that is based on our shared values and the rule of law.
Second, we will strengthen the community of democracies to fight the
threats to our common security and alleviate the hopelessness that feeds terror.
And third, we will spread freedom and democracy throughout the globe.”
nominee told the committee that the United States “must remain united in
insisting that Iran and North Korea abandon their nuclear weapons ambitions, and
chose instead the path of peace. New forums that emerge from the Broader Middle
East and North Africa Initiative offer the ideal venues to encourage economic,
social and democratic reform in the Islamic world.
Implementing the Doha Development Agenda and reducing trade barriers will
create jobs and reduce poverty in dozens of nations. And by standing with the
free peoples of Iraaq and Afghanistan, we will continue to bring hope to
millions, and democracy to apart of the world where it is sorely lacking.”
the initiative “to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world,” Rice
took notes of elections in Malaysia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Ukrain, and
added, “We have watched as the people of the Palestinian Territories turned
out to vote in an orderly and fair election. And soon the people of Iraq will
exercise the right to choose their leaders, and to set the course of their
judge how democratic countries are, said Rice, the world should apply “the
town square test” once suggested by former Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet
dissident who now is a minister in Israel’s government: “If a person cannot
walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without
fear of arrest, imprisonment or physical harm, then that person is living in a
fear society, not a free society. We
cannot rest until every person living in a ‘fear society’ has finally won
specifically to Middle Eastern affairs, Rice contended that “President Bush
has broken with six decades of excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in
the hope of purchasing stability at the price of liberty.
The stakes could not be higher. As long as the broader Middle East
remains a region of tyranny and despair and anger, it will produce extremists
and movements that threaten the safety of Americans and our friends.”
said “the establishment of a Palestinian democracy will help to bring an end
to the conflict in the Holy Land. Much has changed since June 24th,
2002, when President Bush outlined a new approach for America in the quest for
peace in the Middle East, and spoke the truth about what will be required to end