The Aqaba Summit:
Statement by President George W. Bush
(June 4, 2003)
thank you for hosting this event.
Her Majesty, thank you for your hospitality.
It is fitting that we gather today in Jordan.
King Abdullah is a leader on behalf of peace, and is carrying forward
the tradition of his father, King
I'm pleased to be here with Prime
Minister Sharon. The friendship between our countries began at the
time of Israel's creation. Today,
America is strongly committed and I am strongly committed to Israel's
security as a vibrant Jewish state.
I'm also pleased to be with Prime
Minister Abbas. He represents the cause of freedom and statehood
for the Palestinian people. I strongly support that cause as well.
Each of us is here because we understand that all
people have the right to live in peace. We believe that with hard work
and good faith and courage it is possible to bring peace to the Middle
East. And today we mark important progress toward that goal.
Great and hopeful change is coming to the Middle East.
a dictator who funded terror and sowed conflict has been removed, and
a more just and democratic society is emerging.
Prime Minister Abbas now leads the Palestinian
cabinet. By his strong leadership, by building the institutions
democracy and by rejecting terror, he is serving the deepest hopes of
All here today now share a goal: The Holy Land must
be shared between the state of Palestine and the state of Israel, living
at peace with each other and with every nation of the Middle East.
All sides will benefit from this achievement and all
sides have responsibilities to meet. As the road map accepted by the
parties makes clear, both must make tangible immediate steps toward
this two-state vision.
I welcome Prime Minister Sharon's pledge to improve
the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian areas and to begin removing
unauthorized outposts immediately. I appreciate his gestures of reconciliation
on behalf of prisoners and their families, and his frank statements
about the need for territorial contiguity.
As I said yesterday, the issue of settlements
must be addressed for peace to be achieved. In addition, Prime Minister
Sharon has stated that no unilateral actions by either side can or should
prejudge the outcome of future negotiations. The prime minister also
recognizes that it is in Israel's own interest for Palestinians to govern
themselves in their own state.
These are meaningful signs of respect for the rights
of the Palestinians and their hopes for a viable, democratic, peaceful
Prime Minister Abbas recognizes that terrorist crimes
are a dangerous obstacle to the independent state his people seek.
He agrees that the process for achieving that state
is through peaceful negotiations. He has pledged to consolidate Palestinian
institutions, including the security forces, and to make them more accountable
and more democratic.
He has promised his full efforts and resources to
end the armed intefadeh. He has promised to work without compromise
for a complete end of violence and terror.
In all these efforts, the prime minister is demonstrating
his leadership and commitment to building a better future for the Palestinian
Both prime ministers here agree that progress toward
peace also requires an end to violence and the elimination of all forms
of hatred, and prejudice and official incitement, in schoolbooks, in
broadcasts and in the words used by political leaders. Both leaders
understand that a future of peace cannot be founded on hatred and falsehood
Yet these two leaders cannot bring about peace if
they must act alone. True peace requires the support of other nations
in the region.
Yesterday in Sharm el-Sheik we made a strong beginning.
Arab leaders stated that they share our goal of two states, Israel and
Palestine, living side by side in peace and in security. And they have
promised to cut off assistance and the flow of money and weapons to
terrorist groups and to help Prime Minister Abbas rid Palestinian areas
All sides have made important commitments, and the
United States will strive to see these commitments fulfilled.
My government will provide training and support for
a new, restructured Palestinian security service. And we'll place a
mission on the ground, led by Ambassador John Wolf. This mission will
be charged with helping the parties to move toward peace, monitoring
their progress and stating clearly who is fulfilling their responsibilities.
And we expect both parties to keep their promises.
I've also asked Secretary of State Colin Powell and
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to make this cause a matter
of the highest priority. Secretary Powell and Dr. Rice, as my personal
representative, will work closely with the parties, helping them move
toward true peace as quickly as possible.
The journey we're taking is difficult, but there is
no other choice. No leader of conscience can accept more months and
years of humiliation, killing and mourning. And these leaders of conscience
have made their declarations today in the cause of peace. The United
States is committed to that cause. If all sides fulfill their obligation,
I know that peace can finally come.
Thank you very much and may God bless our work.
Source: The Washington
Post, (June 4, 2003)