Advance Peace, Security, and Opportunity in the Greater Middle East
The United States has important interests in the greater Middle East. They include broad cooperation on a wide range of issues with our close friend, Israel, and an unshakable commitment to its security; the achievement of the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for statehood, opportunity, and the realization of their extraordinary potential; the unity and security of Iraq and the fostering of its democracy and reintegration into the region; the transformation of Iranian policy away from its pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for terrorism, and threats against its neighbors; nonproliferation; and counterterrorism cooperation, access to energy, and integration of the region into global markets.
At the same time, our engagement must be both comprehensive and strategic. It should extend beyond near-term threats by appealing to peoples’ aspirations for justice, education, and opportunity and by pursuing a positive and sustainable vision of U.S. partnership with the region. Furthermore, our relationship with our Israeli and Arab friends and partners in the region extends beyond our commitment to its security and includes the continued ties we share in areas such as trade, exchanges, and cooperation on a broad range of issues.
Pursue Arab-Israeli Peace: The United States, Israel, the Palestinians, and the Arab States have an interest in a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict—one in which the legitimate aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for security and dignity are realized, and Israel achieves a secure and lasting peace with all of its neighbors.
The United States seeks two states living side by side in peace and security—a Jewish state of Israel, with true security, acceptance, and rights for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestine with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people. We will continue to work regionally and with like-minded partners in order to advance negotiations that address the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians; borders, refugees, and Jerusalem. We also seek international support to build the institutions upon which a Palestinian state will depend, while supporting economic development that can bring opportunity to its people.
Any Arab-Israeli peace will only be lasting if harmful regional interference ends and constructive regional support deepens. As we pursue peace between Israelis and Palestinians, we will also pursue peace between Israel and Lebanon, Israel and Syria, and a broader peace between Israel and its neighbors. We will pursue regional initiatives with multilateral participation, alongside bilateral negotiations.
Promote a Responsible Iran: For decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has endangered the security of the region and the United States and failed to live up to its international responsibilities. In addition to its illicit nuclear program, it continues to support terrorism, undermine peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and deny its people their universal rights. Many years of refusing to engage Iran failed to reverse these trends; on the contrary, Iran’s behavior became more threatening. Engagement is something we pursue without illusion. It can offer Iran a pathway to a better future, provided Iran’s leaders are prepared to take it. But that better pathway can only be achieved if Iran’s leaders change course, act to restore the confidence of the international community, and fulfill their obligations. The United States seeks a future in which Iran meets its international responsibilities, takes its rightful place in the community of nations, and enjoys the political and economic opportunities that its people deserve. Yet if the Iranian Government continues to refuse to live up to its international obligations, it will face greater isolation.
Build Cooperation with Other 21st Century Centers of Influence
The United States is part of a dynamic international environment, in which different nations are exerting greater influence, and advancing our interests will require expanding spheres of cooperation around the word. Certain bilateral relationships—such as U.S. relations with China, India, and Russia—will be critical to building broader cooperation on areas of mutual interest. And emerging powers in every region of the world are increasingly asserting themselves, raising opportunities for partnership for the United States.
Emerging Centers of Influence: Due to increased economic growth and political stability, individual nations are increasingly taking on powerful regional and global roles and changing the landscape of international cooperation. To achieve a just and sustainable order that advances our shared security and prosperity, we are, therefore, deepening our partnerships with emerging powers and encouraging them to play a greater role in strengthening international norms and advancing shared interests.
We have an array of enduring interests, longstanding commitments and new opportunities for broadening and deepening relationships in the greater Middle East. This includes maintaining a strong partnership with Israel while supporting Israel’s lasting integration into the region. The U.S. also will continue to develop our key security relationships in the region with such Arab states as with Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—partnerships that enable our militaries and defense systems to work together more effectively.
Sources: The White House