Read My Lips

Amr Moussa on the Arab World’s Revolutions

How does the secretary-general of the Arab League view the upheaval currently sweeping the Middle East?

Takeaways


1. Do you support the current multilateral effort in Libya?

“We respect the no-fly zone, and there is no conflict with it.” (March 2011)

2. How do you size up recent events in the Middle East?

“The winds of change are sweeping the Middle East. How it would move and what direction, when, where — I’m not in a position to judge very well.” (February 2011)

3. What kind of leadership does Egypt need?

“A new Egypt needs new people — but with a touch of experienced people.” (February 2011)

4. What about the role of youth?

“I believe the role of the youth, educated young people, should be promoted in any new government.” (February 2011)

5. Have you long believed the Middle East needs reform?

“All countries and all regions need to change. The notion of change is not a dirty notion or a rejected notion. We in the Middle East and the Arab world know that we need to move ahead to change a lot of things we have in our societies and our systems.” (March 2003)

6. Where has the Arab world fallen short?

“Arabs have failed to project themselves, their ideas, the progress that they have achieved.” (March 2003)

7. What is your stance towards the United States?

“We have major interests with the United States. I’m against those who believe the United States is an automatic enemy.” (February 2011)

8. Do you believe there is a “clash of civilizations”?

“I want to avoid the word ‘West’ versus the Arab world. It is not so. There are certain circles and lobby groups that have certain vested interests in confusing and adversely affecting the relations between the West in general and the Arab world.” (March 2003)

9. What is your preferred method of diplomacy?

“We Arabs are in favor of reason and negotiated solutions. This is the only way to solve problems. Every other alternative makes everything vastly more difficult and dangerous.” (April 2007)

10. And finally, in your view, what is needed to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict?

“The Arab-Israeli conflict has the Palestinian issue at its core. Whatever positive movement on any track is welcome to us.” (November 2010)

Each edition of “Read My Lips” presents quotes made by the featured individual at the time specified in the answers. However, it is a “virtual” interview only — insofar as we have added questions in order to provide a better context to the thoughts expressed.

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