Aug 1 2009
Hillary Clinton asks the Saudis to make a good will gesture toward Israel and gets a definite “NO WAY.”
Saudi Arabia on Friday sharply rejected American calls for gestures towards Israel, a central component of US efforts to pave the way for peace talks. Saudi Arabia on Friday confirmed their opposition to US appeals for improved relations with Israel as a way to help restart Middle East peace talks, saying the Jewish state is not interested in a deal.
“Incrementalism and a step-by-step approach has not and – we believe – will not achieve peace. Temporary security, confidence-building measures will also not bring peace,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said at a State Department press conference. “What is required is a comprehensive approach that defines the final outcome at the outset and launches into negotiations over final status issues: borders, Jerusalem, water, refugees and security.”
Yet US Secretary of State Clinton who appeared alongside Saud following their meeting Friday afternoon, downplayed his comments and the extent to which the attitude damages the US’s Arab-Israeli peace program.
Meanwhile, some 224 members of Congress signed a letter to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah calling for precisely the measures that Saud rejected and chastising the country for its stance. JERUSALEM POST
Saudi Arabia’s contributions to the Clinton Foundation are estimated at up to $25 million.