Ambassador Pickering Visits Ingleside at King Farm
Former U.S. Diplomat and UN Ambassador Discusses Middle Eastern Relations with Residents
It’s not every day that Ingleside at King Farm hosts a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, but recently, residents were all ears as they welcomed Thomas Pickering, and had the chance to hear his insights on the topic of Middle Eastern Relations.
Pickering, born in Orange, New Jersey in 1931, served more than 40 years as a U.S. diplomat. He last served as undersecretary of state for political affairs, the third highest post in the U.S. State Department. Pickering also served as ambassador to the United Nations, the Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan, and holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador.
Throughout the discussion, Pickering touched on various current issues in the Middle East including the oil and gas industry and the “Arab Spring.” The majority of his talk, however, focused on a discussion on Syria and Israel/Palestine relations.
“In regards to Islamic rule, the Middle East is in the midst of a big change, and a big challenge,” said Pickering, as he began to delve deeper into the Syrian refugee crisis.
He adds that the countries in the Middle East should focus more on the political side of the issues rather than the military side. If they do that, they can begin to rebuild and clean up the damage, properly heal the wounded with health assistance and clinics, and then begin to define a transitional government while working towards referendum. Pickering explains that it will be slow movement toward constitution, but that the other option would be to return to a full-scale war.
After his dialogue, the Ingleside at King Farm residents were encouraged to engage in a question and answer segment with Pickering. One resident asked if Pickering believed there was a two-state resolution between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Pickering responded by explaining that a one-state resolution would mean that Israel could not remain a Jewish state, which is not likely to happen. He added that the Israelis and Palestinians, although moving quite slowly, will eventually come to a resolution.
Pickering summed up his presentation by referencing the “bicycle theory,” which states: “If you are not riding forward, you are falling down,” explaining that even the smallest forms of progress in the Middle East are important.
Ingleside at King Farm is dedicated to enriching all dimensions of wellness. not only through invigorating speakers, but also through engaging activities such as art, fitness, day trips and various other classes and programs. To learn more about Ingleside at King Farm, please visit www.Inglesidekingfarm.org.