Powell Urges Young People to Work for Peace

July 7, 2008 - 8:13 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Bombs won't stop the Middle East peace process from going forward, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a group of young Israelis and Palestinians in Washington on Tuesday.

"We owe it to you to give you a better world," he told members of the Seeds of Peace program, who will spend three weeks in the United States getting to know each other.

"The dreams that we all have for two peoples to live side by side in peace...will only come about when violence ends, when terror ends, when young people and old people all together join hands and say, 'Enough, enough -- this must stop,'" Powell said.

As for claims that President Bush's road map for peace is finished, Powell said, "No, it is not. We cannot let it go off-track. We will continue to move forward on the road map...We owe it to you to give you a better world."

Powell spoke on a day when two terror attacks -- suicide bombings -- interupted a period of relative calm in Israel.

The future is yours, Powell told the Seeds of Peace group. It will be up to the younger generation to build on the efforts and successes of his generation, he said.

"Each and every one of you is a child of God, put on this Earth not to destroy one another, but put on this Earth to love one another, believe in one another, and work for the cause of peace."

Powell said the U.S. State Department will not stop working for peace. "Sometimes, as we've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cause of peace requires the use of arms...but once arms have been used, it is always our obligation, our commitment, to then bring peace - to bring hope to the people who have suffered through conflict."

Powell urged those attending the Seeds of Peace program to get to know each other as individuals who want the same guarantees for their future: "I hope you will take what you have learned back to your nations, back to your communities, back to your families -- and discuss what you learned, share, spread it out."

Seeds of Peace describes itself as a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to preparing teenagers of different backgrounds with the leadership skills required to promote coexistence and peace.

"By teaching teenagers to develop trust and empathy for one another, Seeds of Peace is changing the landscape of conflict," the website says.