Queen Noor ; Excerpts from a Monitor Breakfast on Promoting Peace in the Middle East

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On what more the US should do to promote peace in the Middle East:

"The United States has demonstrated great military prowess. At the same time, ...I think the country is committing to that moral and diplomatic leadership that is so important to complement that military might in the world. Throughout the world today, it is not just the Middle East, people are watching with great concern and let's say with slender hopeful expectation that the United States will play that role in the Middle East and elsewhere and that the images that have been seen of military strength and effectiveness will soon be balanced by images that clearly reflect the great qualities of this country and the moral leadership that it has..."

On prospects for the "road map" for Middle East peace the US unveiled Wednesday:

"Slender hope is more than we have had in a long time.... That is going to depend on political will and a recognition on all sides, both within the region and outside, that to date we have not succeeded because hardliners on all sides have really hijacked the political process. And if we do not, if the political leadership in Israel, the Arab world and the United States and other, God willing, international partners is not decisive and emphatic in pushing forward the basic principles that underlie this road map, then there will be no more hope than there has been and there will be an escalation of extremism and violence."

On whether the US should work with international organizations in rebuilding Iraq:

"I think we are all aware that there has been a vacuum, there continues to be a vacuum that is feeding a great deal of the skepticism and concern about what are American priorities in Iraq and in the region....Today it must be clear that...the resources that are needed are the resources of the international community. That the United States alone, the coalition forces alone, really have not been equipped to bear the burdens and challenges inevitable at the end of the kind of military conflict we have seen in Iraq. And I hope that that lesson is one that will help to draw in the international community and UN agencies with so much experience on the ground in Iraq to play a much more meaningful and effective role. I would think that would be to the benefit of everyone and will advance the process of healing and conflict recovery...."

On establishing democracy in Iraq:

"You certainly can't, as everyone understands I am sure, impose democracy externally. It has to grow from within a society. In the Arab world, you can't lump or generalize about the political let alone economic and social conditions in all the different countries because they vary considerably.... Where Iraq is concerned, it is too early to talk about democracy. What really needs to be focused on is fundamental human needs, law and order, and building bridges of trust and confidence with people through these measures that will empower the moderates within Iraq and elsewhere in the region to be able to speak out with credibility and partner, if you will, with international countries and organizations in developing democratic institution-building. …