Arafat Clarifies Statement
Satisfy U.S. Conditions for Dialogue
(December 14, 1988)
Frantic last minute efforts
by third party intermediaries, which included Swedish diplomats,
seeking to find the right formula acceptable to the United States, led
Yasser Arafat to call a press
conference in Geneva, where he clarified his 13
December General Assembly speech. This time he mentioned
specifically "the right of all parties concerned in the Middle
East conflict to exist in peace and security, including the State of
Palestine, Israel, and their neighbours. This time he renounced,
rather than condemned terrorism. Following is the text of the
statement which Arafat read at the opening of his press conference:
"Let me highlight my
views before you. Our desire for peace is a strategy and not an
interim tactic. We are bent to peace come what may. Our statehood
provides salvation to the Palestinians and peace to both Palestinians
and Israelis. Self-determination means survival for the Palestinians.
And our survival does not destroy the survival of the Israelis as
their rulers claim."
Recognition of UN resolutions
242 and 338
"Yesterday (Tuesday) in
my speech I made a reference to the United Nations Resolution 181 (on
the partition of Palestine) as the basis for Palestinian independence.
I also made a reference to our acceptance of Resolutions 242 and 338
as the basis for negotiations with Israel within the framework of an
international conference. These three resolutions were endorsed at our
Palestinian National Council session in Algiers."
Recognition of Israel's right
"In my speech also
yesterday (Tuesday) it was clear that we mean our people's right to
freedom and national independence according to Resolution 181 and the
right of all parties concerned in the Middle East conflict to exist in
peace and security and as I have mentioned including the state of
Palestine and Israel and other neighbours according to the Resolutions
242 and 338."
Renunciation of terrorism
"As for terrorism, I
renounced it yesterday (Tuesday) in no uncertain terms and yet I
repeat for the record that we totally and absolutely renounce all
forms of terrorism, including individual, group and state terrorism.
Between Geneva and Algiers we have made our position crystal clear.
"Any more talk such as
the Palestinians should give more - you remember this slogan, the
Palestinians should give it more - or it is not enough, or the
Palestinians are engaging in propaganda games and public relations
exercise, will be damaging and counterproductive.
"Enough is enough.
Enough is enough. Enough is enough. All remaining matters should be
discussed around the table and within the international conference.
Let it be absolutely clear that neither Arafat nor any (one else) for
that matter can stop the intifada, the uprising, The intifada will
come to an end only when practical and tangible steps have been taken
towards the achievement of our national aims and the establishment of
our independent Palestinian state.
"In this context I
expect the EEC to play a more effective role in promoting peace in our
region. They have political responsibility, they have moral
responsibility and they can deal with it.
"Finally, I declare
before you and I ask you to kindly quote me on that: We want peace. We
want peace. We are committed to peace. We want to live in our
Palestinian state and let live."