Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said on Wednesday that his country managed to get the U.S. President George W. Bush to slightly support the Arab initiative for peace in the Middle East.
In an exclusive interview with the American weekly, Saudi ArabiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s foreign minister says ties between Washington and Riyadh are back on track and oil prices should go down, he also and expressed feelings that Bush adopted the Saudi initiative and is going to combine it with the Road Map.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“President Bush is confident about the road he wants to travel,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Al-Faisal, Ã¢â‚¬Å“and I think Prime Minister Sharon better listen.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Saudis felt that they have the last word as the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah’s meeting with Bush in his Crawford ranch in Texas succeeded the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit.
Al-Faisal said, ‘If the U.S.A does not act strictly, there will be no progress on the peace process.Ã‚Â However, seriousness and willingness to implement the agreements and the plans were present in Crawford meeting.Ã‚Â
‘He talked about a two-state solution, he talked about bringing back the roadmap, he talked about the Arab peace plan as an adjunct to the roadmapÃ¢â‚¬â€all these are encouraging signs. And he talked about helping the Palestinian people who have been so severely tested and damaged,’ the Saudi Prince said.
The Saudi’s were trying to convince Bush that Sharon does not intend to continue the peace process after the pullout from the Gaza Strip, therefore, he needs to pressure him to accept the Saudi initiative that was approved twice by the Arab league, in Beirut, three years ago and recently in Algiers.
The Arab Initiative basically calls for a full-scale Israeli withdrawal to the borders of 1967 in exchange of a full-scale normalization of relation with the Arab countries.
Many Arabs believe the only Palestinian state SharonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ever likely to allow would be a fenced-off Gaza and a walled-off fraction of the West Bank.