Middle East peace would thwart Iran cynicism : Jones

WASHINGTON- White House national security chief James Jones Wednesday said that making peace in the Middle East would stop Iran "cynically" using the conflict to deflect attention from its nuclear program.
He also called on today's leaders in the region to show the courage and leadership of leaders like late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, late Jordanian king Hussein and ex-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

White House national security chief James Jones, pictured in March 2010. (AFP/File/Saul Loeb)
White House national security chief James Jones, pictured in March 2010. (AFP/File/Saul Loeb)
Jones, a retired general who is President Barack Obama's national security advisor, said a two-state solution between Israelis and the Palestinians was in the interests of each side, the United States, and the world.
"Advancing this peace would also help prevent Iran from cynically shifting attention away from its failures to meet its obligations," Jones said in prepared remarks to a dinner in Washington, released by the White House.
Some observers say the Israeli government, currently locked in a showdown over settlement building with the Obama White House, views the threat from Iran's nuclear program as more of a security priority than the Palestinian question.
Jones also addressed his remarks to leaders throughout the Middle East, suggesting that all sides must take political risks to break the current deadlock.
"It is time for all leaders in the region -- Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab -- to support efforts for peace."
"It is time for today’s leaders to demonstrate the courage and leadership of Anwar Sadat, King Hussein, and Yitzhak Rabin."
Sadat, who signed the Camp David peace accords with Israel, was assassinated in 1981. Rabin, who signed the Oslo accords with the Palestinians, was shot dead by an Israeli extremist in 1995. King Hussein died of cancer in 1999.
Despite current tensions with Israel, Jones said in the remarks to the Washington Institute for Near East policy that the US commitment to its ally's security was "unbreakable."
"Everyone must know that there is no space -- no space -- between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security.
"Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable. It is as strong as ever."

Thursday, April 22nd 2010

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