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3 pt1 Department of State Dispatch 444 (1992)
The US and the Middle East in a Changing World

handle is hein.journals/dsptch5 and id is 498 raw text is: Middle East

The US and the Middle East
In a Changing World
Edward P. Djerejian, Assistant Secretary
for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
Address at Meridian House International, Washington, DC, June 2, 1992

or over 4 decades, the central
characteristic of international
relations was the dichotomy
between the Soviet empire of dictato-
rial regimes and centrally planned
economies and the free world of
democratic governments and market
economies. Thus, the Cold War
reverberated around the globe,
affecting virtually everyone every-
where. Much of America's foreign
policy and that of many other free
nations was either driven by or [was] a
derivative of our collective efforts
to contain Soviet aggression and
expansion.
Today, East-West competition and
conflict over the future of Europe and
the Third World has been transformed.
In the former Soviet Union, new
leaders are striving for peaceful,
democratic change as the only effective
road to sustainable economic and social
progress. Partnership has replaced
conflict. A new mode of international
cooperation, which Secretary Baker
has called collective engagement, is
replacing the acrimonious competition
of the Cold War.
This sea change in world politics
has had a profound effect in the Near
East. An early example of the new
collective engagement was the
response to Saddam Hussein's invasion
of Kuwait. A historically unprec-
edented coalition responded forcefully
and successfully in reversing that
aggression and in preventing Iraq from
threatening or coercing its neighbors.
In partnership with Russia, we
have been able to bring Israel and all
her immediate Arab neighbors-Syria,
Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestinians-
together for the first time ever in a

historic peace process to negotiate a
comprehensive settlement of their
long-standing disputes in. direct, face-
to-face negotiations based on UN
Security Council Resolutions 242
and 338.
Further, the United Nations has
taken an increasingly active and
positive role in enforcing the principles
of its charter. Just this weekend, we
have seen the UN Security Council
enact Chapter Seven sanctions against
Serbia and Montenegro following-in
Secretary Baker's words-the hu-
manitarian nightmare in Bosnia-
Hercegovina, where many people,
including Muslims, have been brutally
victimized by the continued warfare.
Besides its many resolutions on Iraq,
the Security Council has shown it will
not tolerate Libya's use of terrorism.
In the Near East and Maghreb, the
UN's activities extend from Iraq and
the Iraq-Kuwait border to the Western
Sahara.
Within-the ancient lands of the
Near East, the rapid and fundamental
change evident elsewhere is also
pressing people to see their own
futures in a new light and to reevaluate
their relationships with other nations,
with their neighbors, and with each
other in a particularly challenging
manner.
US Goals in the Near East
Amidst these changes, basic US foreign
policy objectives remain consistent and
clear. Two major goals stand out:
First, we seek a just, lasting, and
comprehensive peace between Israel
and all her neighbors, including the
Palestinians; and

Second, we seek viable security
arrangements which will assure
stability and unimpeded commercial
access to the vast oil reserves of the
Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf.
These are not new goals, of course.
We have striven toward both for
decades. What is new is the opportu-
nity afforded us by recent global and
regional events to make real progress
toward achieving them.
Arab-Israeli Peace Process
The first of these goals--the search for
peace between Arabs and Israelis-has
challenged every US Administration in
the last 4 decades. In the Middle East,
where war has at times seemed
endemic, the road to achieving lasting
peace through negotiation now
stretches before us. The first historic
steps forward have been taken.
We knew last autumn, before the
first negotiations began in Madrid, that
the path we had embarked on would
not be an easy one. Fundamental and
bitterly contested differences separate
the parties to the conflict. Neverthe-
less, there have now been five rounds
of direct, bilateral talks between
Israelis and Arabs, and a sixth round'is
being planned for a venue closer to the
region-namely, Rome. In addition, we
have worked closely with our Russian
partners in this endeavor to launch the
multilateral phase of the peace process.
Let me comment briefly on where we
stand in this process.
. In the bilateral negotiations, the
parties have resolved many procedural
questions and have begun to put
substantive issues on the table. Israel
and the Arabs, including the Palestin-
ians, are all engaging on the basic
issues of land, peace, and security
which form the nexus of these
negotiations.
Israel and the Palestinians are
focusing directly on the central issue of
interim self-government arrangements
for the Occupied Territories as a first,
transitional step along the path to a
permanent settlement of their dispute,
which will be resolved in final status
negotiations.
While major gaps remain between
the respective positions of the parties,
the bilaterals between Israel and Syria,

'4         4        US                     D~partmsnt of State Dispatch                   June 8, 1992

US D'epartment of State Dispatch

444

June 8, 1992

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