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Determined to Reach a Common Objective

“We knew at the outset that the task would be difficult. We acknowledged that publicly and privately. We knew this would be a road with many bumps— and there have been many bumps—and that continues to this day. But we are not deterred. We are, to the contrary, determined more than ever to proceed to realize the common objective, which we all share, of a Middle East that is at peace with security and prosperity for the people of Israel, for Palestinians, and for all the people in the region. We will continue our efforts in that regard, undeterred and undaunted by the difficulties, the complexities or the bumps in the road.”—George Mitchell, special envoy for Middle East peace, remarks with Prime Minister Netanyahu, September 29, 2010

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May 17, 2011, 12:00pm – 1:15pm

From Afghanistan and Iraq to Pakistan, Somalia, and South Sudan, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, is engaged daily in trying to help some of the most troubled nations on the planet make a lasting transition to stability, open markets, and democracy. Few areas of the agency’s work are more challenging or more controversial.

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Heard on the Street on Middle East Peace Process

    • Incremental Progress
    • Heard on the Street | Mar 23, 2010
    • Tal Becker, international associate, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; former senior policy advisor, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreign policy roundtable, AIPAC Policy Conference, March 21, 2010:

      “I think Israel has done some important measures over the last year, especially the settlement moratorium and other measures on the grounds. The PA has done important measures in security, but I think a lot more is needed. I have a kind of rule of thumb in the Middle East. If


    • Integrating Bottom-Up and Top-Down Tracks
    • Heard on the Street | Feb 2, 2010
    • Senator George Mitchell, special envoy for Middle East peace, interview with Middle East Bulletin, “Progress Requires Patience, Compromise and Courageous Leadership,” December 1, 2009:

      “Fundamental to our goal of achieving a peaceful Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel, we must pursue political, economic and security tracks simultaneously and in integrated fashion. It is critical to match our efforts to restart negotiations and to move discussions meaningfully on the political track with efforts to build the Palestinian state from the ‘bottom


    • Israeli Security Needs and Palestinian Territorial Goals Can Be Reconciled
    • Heard on the Street | Dec 1, 2009
    • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, remarks, November 25, 2009:

      “[Last week's] announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments


    • Laying the Groundwork for a State
    • Heard on the Street | Nov 24, 2009
    • Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, interview with Lally Weymouth, The Washington Post, October 24, 2009:

      “We’ve committed ourselves to a path of completing the task of institution building. [This means] the capacity to govern ourselves effectively in all spheres of government within two years. … We now have a monetary authority that is almost like a central bank. We have a public financial system that is well managed. It has won the confidence not only of the Palestinian people but


    • Clearing Every Obstacle from the Path to Peace
    • Heard on the Street | Nov 3, 2009
    • President of Israel Shimon Peres, opening remarks, ceremony commemorating the 14th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, October 28, 2009:

      “We started with the impossible map in 1947, which became the 1967 borders and only then did we start the negotiation process with the Palestinians. … After the peace treaty was signed with Jordan, Rabin’s followers grew, and are still growing. Peace has many enemies out there, but there are also many skeptics within our own borders. … Rabin’s


    • Taking Inspiration from the Past
    • Heard on the Street | Oct 27, 2009
    • President Barack Obama, statement on the anniversary of the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, October 26, 2009:

      “Today marks the anniversary of the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, signed fifteen years ago near the Israeli-Jordanian border. As we honor this historic event, we remember that peace is always possible despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The courage of King Hussein and Prime Minister Rabin demonstrated that a commitment to communication, cooperation, and genuine reconciliation can help change the course of


    • Time to Relaunch Comprehensive Negotiations
    • Heard on the Street | Oct 20, 2009
    • Gen. James L. Jones, U.S. national security adviser, keynote speech, American Task Force on Palestine fourth annual gala, October 15, 2009:

      “Throughout the past several months, I believe that our policy has been clear, unambiguous and consistent. We have called on all parties to meet their responsibilities and to take steps to promote an environment in which negotiations can prosper and succeed. These steps were never meant as an end in themselves but as a way to relaunch talks on


    • Mideast Peace Tracks Complement Each Other
    • Heard on the Street | Oct 13, 2009
    • Jeffrey Feltman, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, interview with Asharq Alawsat, September 30, 2009:

      “We have spent most of the time talking about the Palestinian-Israeli track. … But this should not be at the expense of the other peace tracks, either the Syrian-Israeli track or the Lebanese-Israeli one. We want a comprehensive peace in the Middle East and we do not see any competition between the various peace tracks as some might believe. On the contrary, we


    • Finding a Way Forward
    • Heard on the Street | Sep 22, 2009
    • President Barack Obama, statement before trilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, September 22, 2009:

      “Simply put, it is past time to talk about starting negotiations. It is time to move forward. It is time to show the flexibility and common sense and sense of compromise that’s necessary to achieve our goals. Permanent status negotiations must begin and begin soon. And more importantly, we must give those negotiations the opportunity to succeed.

      “And so