Senators to Rice: Press Arabs on peace


A large majority of U.S. senators signed a letter urging Condoleezza Rice to pressure Arab states to the peace table.

The letter, signed by 79 senators and sent Tuesday to the U.S. secretary of state, stresses to the Palestinians the importance of the political, diplomatic and financial backing of the Arab community going into next month’s Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington.

It also asks Rice to insist that participating Arab governments stop their support of terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist, end the Arab League economic boycott of Israel, and pressure Hamas to reject terror and recognize Israel.

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wrote the letter, which was signed by all six presidential candidates serving in the Senate.

“We are encouraged that you are working hard to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East,” the senators wrote. “The governments of Israel and of the Palestinians are also working as best they can toward that goal. However, without a sincere commitment from our allies in the Middle East to be partners in this effort, peace in the region will remain elusive.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee strongly backed the letter.

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