Posted on April 28, 2010 in Press Releases

“Let there be no doubt: President Obama and all of us in his Administration are determined to reach a comprehensive peace in the Middle East – central to which is a two-state solution. President Obama has defined this goal as a vital U.S. interest.”

Washington, D.C. – April 23, 2010 – In an address to the Arab American Institute’s annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala on April 21, 2010, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice addressed the gathering of members of Congress, foreign dignitaries, and other distinguished guests and became yet another Administration voice in support of advancing negotiations between Arabs and Israelis.

Highlighting issues of strategic importance in her remarks, Ambassador Rice identified the Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon and Iraq as issues “high on our agenda.” Referring to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, she echoed the comments of President Obama, General Petraeus and Secretary of State Clinton in noting that resolving the conflict was a “vital U.S. interest.”

Her address in its entirety can be found here.

Beyond her substantive address on issues of foreign policy concerns, her remarks reflected a personal and genuine sense of Palestinian hopes and aspirations. Ambassador Rice, whose position is a cabinet level appointment, discussed visiting an UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East) camp last year and meeting with students. Rice stated, “They told of their desire to contribute, to build their nation, and to serve. Those girls, like my daughter and like children everywhere, should have the freedom to dream without limits and should only be limited by their abilities.”

Commenting on her speech, AAI President James Zogby noted, “We certainly welcomed the clear and strong reiteration of Administration policy on U.S. national interests, two-states, and Israeli settlements, but her moving portrait of Palestinians as people with hopes and dreams for their nation was most appreciated.”