by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon After the Aqaba Summit Meeting
– June 4, 2003
I would like to thank His Majesty King Abdullah
for arranging this meeting, and express Israel’s appreciation to
President Bush for coming here to be with Prime Minister Abbas and
me. Thank you.
As the Prime Minister of Israel, the land which
is the cradle of the Jewish people, my paramount responsibility
is the security of the people of Israel and of the State of Israel.
There can be no compromise with terror and Israel, together with
all free nations, will continue fighting terrorism until its final
Ultimately, permanent security requires peace and
permanent peace can only be obtained through security, and there
is now hope of a new opportunity for peace between Israelis and
Israel, like others, has lent its strong support
for President Bush’s vision, expressed on June 24, 2002, of two
states – Israel and a Palestinian state – living side by side in
peace and security. The Government and people of Israel welcome
the opportunity to renew direct negotiations according to the steps
of the roadmap as adopted by the Israeli government to achieve this
It is in Israel’s interest not to govern the Palestinians
but for the Palestinians to govern themselves in their own state.
A democratic Palestinian state fully at peace with Israel will promote
the long-term security and well-being of Israel as a Jewish state.
There can be no peace, however, without the abandonment
and elimination of terrorism, violence, and incitement. We will
work alongside the Palestinians and other states to fight terrorism,
violence and incitement of all kinds. As all parties perform their
obligations, we will seek to restore normal Palestinian life, improve
the humanitarian situation, rebuild trust, and promote progress
toward the President’s vision. We will act in a manner that respects
the dignity as well as the human rights of all people.
We can also reassure our Palestinian partners that
we understand the importance of territorial contiguity in the West
Bank, for a viable, Palestinian state. Israeli policy in the territories
that are subject to direct negotiations with the Palestinians will
reflect this fact.
We accept the principle that no unilateral actions
by any party can prejudge the outcome of our negotiations.
In regard to the unauthorized outposts, I want to
reiterate that Israel is a society governed by the rule of law.
Thus, we will immediately begin to remove unauthorized outposts.
Israel seeks peace with all its Arab neighbors.
Israel is prepared to negotiate in good faith wherever there are
partners. As normal relations are established, I am confident that
they will find in Israel a neighbor and a people committed to comprehensive
peace and prosperity for all the peoples of the region.
Thank you all.