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July 21, 2005

Bandar's Legacy

Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan, announced yesterday he will be stepping down.

Much of the media coverage of the ambassador's resignation and career overlooks one of the more intesteresting anecdotes involving the prince — his acknowledgment that Arafat should have accepted Bill Clinton's offer of Palestinian statehood in December, 2000.


AP did recall the incident in a July 20 story:

When President Clinton was holding the 2000 Camp David summit between the Israelis and Palestinians, Bandar met with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and urged him to accept a Clinton-backed peace deal, according to then-U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross.

Bandar's view on the peace offer was detailed in Dennis Ross' book, The Missing Peace:

It was a chilly December evening as we sat in front of Bandar's fireplace, and he said something I will never forget: "If Arafat does not accept what is available now, it won't be a tragedy, it will be a crime." [pg. 748]

Bandar later told The New Yorker's Elsa Walsh: "It broke my heart that Arafat did not take that offer."

Posted by at July 21, 2005 10:12 AM


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