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Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas' statement after the Middle East peace summit in Aqaba, Jordan

June 4, 2003

In the name of God, the beneficent, the merciful.

I would like to thank King Abdullah for hosting our meeting here today. I would also like to thank President Mubarak, King Abdullah, King Hamad [of Bahrain] and Crown Prince Abdullah [of Saudi Arabia], who met in Egypt yesterday, for their statement supporting our efforts.

Thank you also to 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 realise, this is an important moment.

A new opportunity for peace exists, an opportunity based upon President Bush's vision and the Quartet's roadmap, which we accepted without any reservations.

The goal is two states--Israel and Palestine--living side-by-side in peace and security.

The process is one of direct negotiations to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 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, and will immediately begin.

Let me be clear. There is no military solution to our conflict. We repeat our denunciation and renunciation of terrorism and violence against 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.

They are also in conflict with the kind of state we wish to build for ourselves--one based on human rights and the rule of law.

We will exert our full efforts using all our resources to end the militarization of the intifada [Palestinian uprising], and we will succeed.

The armed intifada must end, and we must resort to peaceful means in our quest to end the occupation, the suffering of the Palestinians and the Israelis, and to establish our Palestinian state.

We emphasize our determination to implement the pledge we made to our people and the international community: the rule of law, a single political authority, weapons only in the hands of those charged with upholding 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 a full partner in the international war against terrorism, and we call upon our partners in this war to prevent financial and military assistance to those who oppose this position.

We do this as part of our commitment to the interests of the Palestinian people, and as members of the larger family of humanity.

We will also act vigorously against incitement to violence and hatred, whatever their form or forum may be.

We will take measures to ensure that there is no incitement emanating from the Palestinian institutions.

We must also reactivate and reinvigorate the US-Palestinian-Israel 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 democratic state that will be a qualitative addition to the international community.

All the Palestinian Authority security forces will be a part of these efforts and will work together towards the achievement of our 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 interest.

In order to succeed there must be a clear improvement in the lives of the 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 ask the Arab states to help us in all these efforts.

We also welcome and stress the need for a strong US-led monitoring mechanism.

Together, we can achieve the goal of an independent, viable and sovereign Palestine as a good neighbor to all states in the region, including Israel.

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