[Excerpt] … Our commitment to peace in the Middle East does not end with the liberation of Kuwait. So tonight let me outline four key challenges to be met.
First, we must work together to create shared security arrangements in the region.
Second, we must act to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles used to deliver them.
And third, we must work to create new opportunities for peace and stability in the Middle East. On the night I announced Operation Desert Storm, I expressed my hope that out of the horrors of war might come new momentum for peace. We have learned in the modern age geography cannot guarantee security and security does not come from military power alone.
All of us know the depth of bitterness that has made the dispute between Israel and its neighbors so painful and intractable. Yet, in the conflict just concluded, Israel and many of the Arab states have for the first time found themselves confronting the same aggressor. By now, it should be plain to all parties that peacemaking in the Middle East requires compromise. At the same time, peace brings real benefits to everyone. We must do all that we can to close the gap between Israel and the Arab states – and between Israelis and Palestinians. The tactics of terror lead nowhere. There can be no substitute for diplomacy.
A comprehensive peace must be grounded in United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of territory for peace. This principle must be elaborated to provide for Israel‘s security and recognition, and at the same time for legitimate Palestinian political rights. Anything else would fail the twin tests of fairness and security. The time has come to put an end to Arab-Israeli conflict.
The war with Iraq is over. The quest for solutions to the problem in Lebanon, in the Arab-Israeli dispute, and in the Gulf must go forward with new vigor and determination. And I guarantee you: No one will work harder for a stable peace in the region than we will.
Fourth, we must foster economic development for the sake of peace and progress. Resources once squandered on military might must be redirected to more peaceful ends. Now the challenge is reach higher – to foster economic freedom and prosperity for all people of the region.
By meeting these challenges, we can build a framework for peace. I‘ve asked Secretary of State Baker to go the Middle East to begin the process. He will go to listen, to probe, to offer suggestions, and to advance the search for peace and stability.
To all the challenges that confront this region of the world, there is no single solution, no solely American answer. But we can make a difference. America will work tirelessly as a catalyst for positive change.
The consequences of the conflict in the Gulf reach far beyond the confines of the Middle East. Twice before in this century, and entire world was convulsed by war. Twice this century, out of the horrors of war, hope emerged for enduring peace. Twice before, those hopes proved to be a distant dream, beyond the grasp of man.
Until now, the world we‘ve known has been a world divided – a world of barbed wire and concrete block, conflict and cold war.
Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a "world order" in which "the principles of justice and fair play… protect the weak against the strong...” A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations.
The Gulf war put this new world to its first test, and, my fellow Americans, we passed that test.
Even the new world order cannot guarantee and era of perpetual peace. But enduring peace must be our mission… [End Excerpt]