Remarks to the Media on Middle East Policy
Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Ambassador Rice: Thank you. Good afternoon everybody, I’m just going to be brief because I’m now headed to a separate session on Sri Lanka. We had a very useful and constructive meeting thus far of the Council. We welcome Foreign Minister Lavrov’s initiative to convene the Council and we’re very pleased with the constructive and comprehensive statement that will be issued by the president of the Council on the Council’s behalf. This was a product of really collaborative, good faith efforts by all members of the Council and we’re pleased with the outcome.
As I said in my statement before the Council, this is an important moment. The United States is firmly and unequivocally committed to working toward a two-state solution with an Israel and a Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security. The President, President Obama, is personally engaged in this effort and will continue to lead. We’re very pleased with the efforts as well of Senator Mitchell, the president’s special envoy, and in the coming weeks we have important meetings in the White House, we’ll be pressing our efforts in this regard and we welcome very much the statements of support and encouragement that we heard from various members of the Council toward this shared goal.
Reporter: Ambassador, apparently Obama, President Obama, will be going to Moscow July 6-8. Do you anticipate he’ll be discussing specifically the Middle East peace process—where it’s not going and where it should be going? Do you perceive this as a kick-start toward that?
Ambassador Rice: Well, obviously, when the president is in Moscow he’ll cover a wide-ranging agenda with President Medvedev and I can’t imagine this would not be part of it.
Reporter: Ambassador, do you there will be a war in 18 months if there’s no progress on peace?
Ambassador Rice: I’m not going to comment specifically on that, but I will say that we share a sense of urgency as I conveyed in my statement. This is a moment that should not be lost and that is why the United States and others are redoubling our efforts to achieve a lasting two-state solution.