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The Aqaba Summit: Statement by Mahmoud Abbas

I would like to thank King Abdullah for hosting our meeting here today. I would like also to thank President Mubarak and King Abdullah, King Hamad and Crown Prince Abdullah, who met in Egypt yesterday. I thank them for their statements supporting our efforts.

I also would like to thank the Israeli prime minister, Sharon, for joining us here in Jordan. And many thanks especially to President Bush who took the longest journey for peace of all of us.

As we all realize, this is an important moment. A new opportunity for peace exists, an opportunity based upon President Bush's vision and the quartet's road map which we have accepted without any reservations. Our goal is two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The process is the one of direct negotiations to end the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and to resolve all the permanent status issues and end the occupation that began in 1967 under which Palestinians have suffered so much.

At the same time, we do not ignore the suffering of the Jews throughout history. It is time to bring all this suffering to an end.

Just as Israel must meet its responsibilities, we, the Palestinians, will fulfill our obligations for this endeavor to succeed.

We are ready to do our part. Let me be very clear: There will be no military solution for this conflict, so we repeat our renunciation and the renunciation of terrorism against the Israelis wherever they might be. Such methods are inconsistent with our religious and moral traditions and are a dangerous obstacle to the achievement of an independent sovereign state we seek. These methods also conflict with the kinds of state we wish to build based on human rights and the rule of law.

We will exert all of our efforts using all our resources to end the militarization of the intifada and we will succeed. The armed intefadeh must end, and we must use and resort to peaceful means in our quest to end the occupation and the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis. And to establish the Palestinian state, we emphasize our determination to implement our pledges which we have made for our people and the international community, and that is the rule of law, single political authority, weapons only in the hands of those who are in charge of upholding the law and order, and political diversity within the framework of democracy.

Our goal is clear and we will implement it firmly and without compromise: a complete end to violence and terrorism. And we will be full partners in the international war against terrorism. And we will call upon our partners in this war to prevent financial and military assistance to those who oppose this position. We do this as a part of our commitment to the interests of the Palestinian people and as members of the large family of humanity.

We will also act vigorously against incitement and violence and hatred, whatever their form or forum may be. We will take measures to ensure that there is not incitement emanating from Palestinian institutions. We must also reactivate and invigorate the U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli Anti-Incitement Committee.

We will continue our work to establish the rule of law and to consolidate government authority in accountable Palestinian institutions. We seek to build the kind of a democratic state that will be a qualitative addition to the international community. All the PA security forces will be part of these efforts and will work together toward the achievement of these goals.

Our national future is at stake and no one will be allowed to jeopardize it. We are committed to these steps because they are in our national interests. In order to succeed, there must be a clear improvement in the lives of Palestinians. Palestinians must live in dignity. Palestinians must be able to move, go to their jobs and schools, visit their families and conduct a normal life. Palestinians must not be afraid for their lives, property or livelihood.

We welcome and stress the need for the assistance of the international community, and in particular the Arab states, to help us, and we also welcome and stress the need for a U.S.-led monitoring mechanism.

Together, we can achieve the goal of an independent Palestinian state, sovereign, viable, in the framework of good neighbors with all states in the region, including Israel.

Thank you very much.

Washington Post