The Aqaba Summit:
Statement by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
(June 4, 2003)
I would like to thank His Majesty King
Abdullah for arranging this meeting, and express Israels
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 defeat.
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 Palestinians.
Israel, like others, has lent its strong support for
President Bushs 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 road map
as adopted by the Israeli government to achieve this vision.
It is in Israels 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
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 Presidents vision. We will act
in a manner that respects the dignity as well as the human rights of
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
reitirate 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.
Government Press Office