Among the many reasons our new President makes me hopeful is the emphasis he has placed on diplomacy when reaching out into the world. While I am sure there will be policies with which I don't 100% agree along the way, it is so refreshing to have well spoken statesman as President. His response when questioned in an interview on Al Arabiya about his perception of the U.S. role in brokering peace in the Middle East underscores for me what a good choice this country made in electing him:
"Well, I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away. And George Mitchell is somebody of enormous stature. He is one of the few people who have international experience brokering peace deals.
And so what I told him is start by listening, because all too often theUnited States starts by dictating -- in the past on some of these issues --and we don't always know all the factors that are involved. So let's listen. He's going to be speaking to all the major parties involved. And he will then report back to me. From there we will formulate a specific response.
Ultimately, we cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what's best for them. They're going to have to make some decisions. But I do believe that the moment is ripe for both sides to realize that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people. And that instead, it's time to return to the negotiating table."
for the rest of the interview, click here