U.S. Will Take Lead in Mideast Peace Effort Assistant Secretary of State Assures ADL
Washington, D.C., April 28, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed assurances from Assistant Secretary of State William Burns that the United States will take the lead among members of the so-called Quartet in pursuing peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It was the first time a U.S. administration official has clearly declared that the peace process will be primarily driven by the United States, working in concert with other members of the Quartet. Secretary Burns stated: "There's no substitute here for very strong American leadership. It is going to have to be a very strong American-led effort."
Speaking to an audience of 500 people at ADL's National Leadership Conference in Washington, Secretary Burns reaffirmed President Bush's outline for peace, as articulated in his speech on June 24. "What we will try to do is work very hard in the Quartet to keep a very clear focus on the President's vision," Secretary Burns said. "The road map is a broad outline for peace, not a treaty or an edict."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We welcome assurances from the administration that the United States will take the lead in keeping the members of the Quartet clearly focused on the President's vision for peace in the Middle East, as spelled out in his June 24 speech. We believe that the road map, which in our view has some significant flaws, can only have the hope of being productive if the U.S. is the overwhelmingly dominant player. It is clear that the administration remains committed to achieving a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and is intent on taking a key leadership role in the process. However, the U.S. must ensure that progress on the road map will be measured by performance, not by rhetoric. We are encouraged that Secretary Burns and the Bush Administration recognize that peace cannot be achieved without real reform in the Palestinian Authority, including a rejection of terror and incitement and a commitment to transparency in Palestinian institutions and democratic reform.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.