The Annapolis Conference
November 26-28, 2007 (Road Map to Armageddon 2)
November 29, 2007
November 27, 2007
1. President Bush's Speech at Annapolis Conference including Joint Understanding
2. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech
3. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' speech
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 27, 2007
President Bush Attends Annapolis Conference
United States Naval Academy
Joint Understanding Read by President Bush at Annapolis Conference
11:04 A.M. EST
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you for coming. Prime Minister Olmert, President Abbas, Secretary General Ban, former Prime Minister Blair, distinguished guests: Welcome to one of the finest institutes we have in America, the United States Naval Academy. We appreciate you joining us in what I believe is an historic opportunity to encourage the expansion of freedom and peace in the Holy Land.
We meet to lay the foundation for the establishment of a new nation -- a democratic Palestinian state that will live side by side with Israel in peace and security. We meet to help bring an end to the violence that has been the true enemy of the aspirations of both the Israelis and Palestinians.
We're off to a strong start. I'm about to read a statement that was agreed upon by our distinguished guests:
The representatives of the government of the state of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, represented respective by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and President Mahmoud Abbas in his capacity as Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee and President of the Palestinian Authority, have convened in Annapolis, Maryland, under the auspices of President George W. Bush of the United States of America, and with the support of the participants of this international conference, having concluded the following joint understanding.
We express our determination to bring an end to bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples; to usher in a new era of peace, based on freedom, security, justice, dignity, respect and mutual recognition; to propagate a culture of peace and nonviolence; to confront terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis. In furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty, resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues, without exception, as specified in previous agreements.
We agree to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations, and shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008. For this purpose, a steering committee, led jointly by the head of the delegation of each party, will meet continuously, as agreed. The steering committee will develop a joint work plan and establish and oversee the work of negotiations teams to address all issues, to be headed by one lead representative from each party. The first session of the steering committee will be held on 12 December 2007.
President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert will continue to meet on a bi-weekly basis to follow up the negotiations in order to offer all necessary assistance for their advancement.
The parties also commit to immediately implement their respective obligations under the performance-based road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, issued by the Quartet on 30 April 2003 -- this is called the road map -- and agree to form an American, Palestinian and Israeli mechanism, led by the United States, to follow up on the implementation of the road map.
The parties further commit to continue the implementation of the ongoing obligations of the road map until they reach a peace treaty. The United States will monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitment of both sides of the road map. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the road map, as judged by the United States.
Congratulations for your strong leadership. (Applause.)
The Palestinian people are blessed with many gifts and talents. They want the opportunity to use those gifts to better their own lives and build a better future for their children. They want the dignity that comes with sovereignty and independence. They want justice and equality under the rule of law. They want freedom from violence and fear.
The people of Israel have just aspirations, as well. They want their children to be able to ride a bus or to go to school without fear of suicide bombers. They want an end to rocket attacks and constant threats of assault. They want their nation to be recognized and welcomed in the region where they live.
Today, Palestinians and Israelis each understand that helping the other to realize their aspirations is key to realizing their own aspirations -- and both require an independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state. Such a state will provide Palestinians with the chance to lead lives of freedom and purpose and dignity. Such a state will help provide the Israelis with something they have been seeking for generations: to live in peace with their neighbors.
Achieving this goal is not going to be easy -- if it were easy, it would have happened a long time ago. To achieve freedom and peace, both Israelis and Palestinians will have to make tough choices. Both sides are sober about the work ahead, but having spent time with their leaders, they are ready to take on the tough issues. As Prime Minister Olmert recently put it, "We will avoid none of [the historic questions], we will not run from discussing any of them." As President Abbas has said: "I believe that there is an opportunity not only for us but for the Israelis, too. We have a historic and important opportunity that we must benefit from." It is with that spirit that we concluded -- that they concluded this statement I just read.
Our purpose here in Annapolis is not to conclude an agreement. Rather, it is to launch negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. For the rest of us, our job is to encourage the parties in this effort -- and to give them the support they need to succeed.
In light of recent developments, some have suggested that now is not the right time to pursue peace. I disagree. I believe now is precisely the right time to begin these negotiations -- for a number of reasons:
First, the time is right because Palestinians and Israelis have leaders who are determined to achieve peace. President Abbas seeks to fulfill his people's aspirations for statehood, dignity and security. President Abbas understands that a Palestinian state will not be born of terror, and that terrorism is the enemy standing in the way of a state. He and Prime Minister Fayyad have both declared, without hesitation, that they are opposed to terrorism and committed to peace. They're committed to turning these declarations into actions on the ground to combat terror.
The emergence of responsible Palestinian leaders has given Israeli leaders the confidence they need to reach out to the Palestinians in true partnership. Prime Minister Olmert has expressed his understanding of the suffering and indignities felt by the Palestinian people. He's made clear that the security of Israel will be enhanced by the establishment of a responsible, democratic Palestinian state. With leaders of courage and conviction on both sides, now is the time to come together and seek the peace that both sides desire.
Second, the time is right because a battle is underway for the future of the Middle East -- and we must not cede victory to the extremists. With their violent actions and contempt for human life, the extremists are seeking to impose a dark vision on the Palestinian people -- a vision that feeds on hopelessness and despair to sow chaos in the Holy Land. If this vision prevails, the future of the region will be endless terror, endless war, and endless suffering.
Standing against this dark vision are President Abbas and his government. They are offering the Palestinian people an alternative vision for the future -- a vision of peace, a homeland of their own, and a better life. If responsible Palestinian leaders can deliver on this vision, they will deal the forces of extremism a devastating blow. And when liberty takes root in the rocky soil of the West Bank and Gaza, it will inspire millions across the Middle East who want their societies built on freedom and peace and hope.
By contrast, if Palestinian reformers cannot deliver on this hopeful vision, then the forces of extremism and terror will be strengthened, a generation of Palestinians could be lost to the extremists, and the Middle East will grow in despair. We cannot allow this to happen. Now is the time to show Palestinians that their dream of a free and independent state can be achieved at the table of peace -- and that the terror and violence preached by Palestinian extremists is the greatest obstacle to a Palestinian state.
Third, the time is right because the world understands the urgency of supporting these negotiations. We appreciate that representatives from so many governments and international institutions have come to join us here in Annapolis -- especially the Arab world. We're here because we recognize what is at stake. We are here because we each have a vital role to play in helping Palestinians forge the institutions of a free society. We're here because we understand that the success of these efforts to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians will have an impact far beyond the Holy Land.
These are the reasons we've gathered here in Annapolis. And now we begin the difficult work of freedom and peace. The United States is proud to host this meeting -- and we reaffirm the path to peace set out in the road map. Yet in the end, the outcome of the negotiations they launch here depends on the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. America will do everything in our power to support their quest for peace, but we cannot achieve it for them. The success of these efforts will require that all parties show patience and flexibility -- and meet their responsibilities.
For these negotiations to succeed, the Palestinians must do their part. They must show the world they understand that while the borders of a Palestinian state are important, the nature of a Palestinian state is just as important. They must demonstrate that a Palestinian state will create opportunity for all its citizens, and govern justly, and dismantle the infrastructure of terror. They must show that a Palestinian state will accept its responsibility, and have the capability to be a source of stability and peace -- for its own citizens, for the people of Israel, and for the whole region.
The Israelis must do their part. They must show the world that they are ready to begin -- to bring an end to the occupation that began in 1967 through a negotiated settlement. This settlement will establish Palestine as a Palestinian homeland, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. Israel must demonstrate its support for the creation of a prosperous and successful Palestinian state by removing unauthorized outposts, ending settlement expansion, and finding other ways for the Palestinian Authority to exercise its responsibilities without compromising Israel's security.
Arab states also have a vital role to play. Relaunching the Arab League initiative and the Arab League's support for today's conference are positive steps. All Arab states should show their strong support for the government of President Abbas -- and provide needed assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Arab states should also reach out to Israel, work toward the normalization of relations, and demonstrate in both word and deed that they believe that Israel and its people have a permanent home in the Middle East. These are vital steps toward the comprehensive peace that we all seek.
Finally, the international community has important responsibilities. Prime Minister Fayyad is finalizing a plan to increase openness and transparency and accountability throughout Palestinian society -- and he needs the resources and support from the international community. With strong backing from those gathered here, the Palestinian government can build the free institutions that will support a free Palestinian state.
The United States will help Palestinian leaders build these free institutions -- and the United States will keep its commitment to the security of Israel as a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people.
The United States strongly feels that these efforts will yield the peace that we want -- and that is why we will continue to support the Lebanese people. We believe democracy brings peace. And democracy in Lebanon is vital, as well, for the peace in the Middle East. Lebanese people are in the process of electing a president. That decision is for the Lebanese people to make -- and they must be able to do so free from outside interference and intimidation. As they embark on this process, the people of Lebanon can know that the American people stand with them -- and we look forward to the day when the people of Lebanon can enjoy the blessings of liberty without fear of violence or coercion.
The task begun here at Annapolis will be difficult. This is the beginning of the process, not the end of it -- and no doubt a lot of work remains to be done. Yet the parties can approach this work with confidence. The time is right. The cause is just. And with hard effort, I know they can succeed.
President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert, I pledge to devote my effort during my time as President to do all I can to help you achieve this ambitious goal. I give you my personal commitment to support your work with the resources and resolve of the American government. I believe a day is coming when freedom will yield the peace we desire. And the land that is holy to so many will see the light of peace.
The day is coming when Palestinians will enjoy the blessings that freedom brings -- and all Israelis will enjoy the security they deserve. That day is coming. The day is coming when the terrorists and extremists who threaten the Israeli and Palestinian people will be marginalized and eventually defeated. And when that day comes, future generations will look to the work we began here at Annapolis. They will give thanks to the leaders who gathered on the banks of the Chesapeake for their vision, their wisdom and courage to choose a future of freedom and peace.
Thanks for coming. May God bless their work. (Applause.)
END 11:22 A.M. EST
Tue., November 27, 2007 Kislev 17, 5768
with great hope, but it is accompanied with great worry that this new opportunity might be lost.
But the meanings of your message are well known and they carry your personal bridge and commitment by your great country and its determination to embrace the Palestinian and Israeli peace and the Arab-Israeli peace to be converted in the arena of negotiations to be the first and foremost arena for making peace.
And that this initiative would culminate your term of office is an outstanding achievement which would add a new shining star in the skies of the world, the world of the future free of violence, oppression and bigotry.
And also we would like to applaud you, Mr. President, for choosing this charming city, Annapolis, as a venue for convening this international conference.
In addition to its beauty and distinctive location, it bears the symbol of freedom; the most sublime value in our life.
"Freedom" is the single word that stands for the future of the Palestinians and captures the meanings of all their generations. It is their sunshine and it is the life that inspires their future. It is the last word voiced by the martyrs and victims, and it is the lyric (ph) of their prisoners.
I must also pay tribute to the role played by Dr. Condoleezza Rice and her aides. For without here relentless resolve and determination and her vision vis-a-vis all aspects of conflict in our region, we would not have been convening here.
Dr. Rice took important strides with us in order to affirm that the path of peace is the only choice and it is irreversible. And that the path to negotiations for peace and to achieve peace is the right path.
It is important for me to indicate here that this distinguished participation and large participation from sister Arab and Islamic countries, the quartet, and the group of great industrial countries, and the permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations, and many prominent European and Asian countries, as well as non-aligned countries and African states and from South America, in a unique conference in the history of the conflicts would provide impetus and protection, in addition to the fact that it carries the meanings of encouragement to pursue the path of Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations and move that forward and the need to reach the solution of two states, based on ending occupation and the establishment of the state of Palestine side by side to the state of Israel, and the resolution of all issues relating to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict, Arab-Israeli conflict in all their aspects, as an indispensable qualitative step, so that comprehensive and normal peace relations would be established in our region.
I am proud that this Arab and Islamic contribution and this broad international that this Arab and Islamic contribution and this broad international participation in the work of this conference is a testimony to the fact that sister and friendly states are standing by us, the people of Palestine, as a leadership, and for our efforts to achieve peace.
It is a support of our approach that calls for a balanced historical settlement that would ensure peace and security for our independent state and for Israel, as well as for all countries in the region.
This Arab and Islamic participation in today's meeting is also an affirmation that the Arab peace initiative was not a step without well-defined targets, but indeed it was a bold strategic plan that aims changing the nature of relations in the region and to usher in a new era there.
But to achieve that does not depend on the Arab and Islamic position by itself, but requires meeting this position by a reciprocal strategic willingness that would basically lead to ending the occupation of all Palestinian occupied territories in 1967, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Syrian Golan and what remains of occupied from Lebanese territories, and to resolve all other issues relating to the conflict, especially the Palestinian refugees question in all its political, humanitarian, individual and common aspects, consistent with Resolution 194, as emphasized by the Arab peace initiative and the participation of sister states that host refugees and carry huge burdens in this regard.
I am not making an overstatement, Mr. President, if I say that our region stands at a crossroad that separates two historical phases, pre-Annapolis phase and post-Annapolis phase.
In other words, this extraordinary huge opportunity provided today by the Arab, Islamic and international position, and the overwhelming support from the public opinion in both the Palestinian and Israeli societies for the need to exploit the occasion of this conference that would launch the negotiating process and not to do away with the potential that it carries, I say that this opportunity might not be repeated. And if it were to be repeated, it might not enjoy the same unanimity and impetus.
Mr. President, what we are facing today is not just the challenge of peace, but we are facing a test of our credibility as a whole: the United States, members of the quartet, and all members of the international community, Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the Arab and Islamic group, as well.
It is a test that would leave its indelible impact on the future of the region and on the relationship among its peoples and the international powers that are entrusted in the peace, stability of our region on the other hand.
We came with this perspective to Annapolis today. And, therefore, we do recognize the volume of this possibility that we are bearing and the gravity of the burden that we must shoulder.
We do recognize, and I presume that you share me this view, that the absence of hope and overwhelming despair would feed extremism. Therefore, we have a common duty to spread genuine hope in order to achieve full transformation toward complete peace (inaudible) and long term during your term of office, Mr. President, thanks to your support and understanding.
Tomorrow, we have to start comprehensive and deep negotiations on all issues of final status, including Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, water and security and others.
We have to support this negotiating process in concrete and direct steps on the ground that would prove that we are moving in an irreversible path toward negotiated, comprehensive and full peace, and to ensure ending all settlement activities, including natural growth, and reopening closed Jerusalem institutions, removal of settlement outposts, removal of road blocks, and freedom of prisoners, and to facilitate our mission in the authority to enforce law and the rule of law.
Here, I must defend in all sincerity and candor, and without wavering, the right of our people to see a new dawn, without occupation, without settlement, without separation walls, without prisons where thousands of prisoners are detained, without assassinations, without siege, without barriers around villages and (inaudible).
I look forward, Mr. President, to see that our prisoners have been set free and returned to exercise their role in supporting peace and to stand by us in our mission to build our statehood and our homeland.
It is my duty to say that, to have peace, we need the fate of the city of Jerusalem to be a critical component in any peace accord that we might reach.
We need East Jerusalem to be our capital and to establish open relations with western Jerusalem, and to ensure for all the faithful from all religions their right to exercise their rituals and to access holy shrines without any discrimination and on the basis of international and humanitarian goals.
In this regard, I wish to emphasize that we shall pursue our obligations under the road map, in order to combat chaos, violence, terrorism, and to ensure security, order and the rule of law.
The government of the Palestinian National Authority works tirelessly and without any wavering under extremely difficult conditions to achieve this noble goal that represents, first and foremost, a Palestinian national interest before it becomes a political requirement that is imposed by signed accords or the road map.
Our people distinguish completely between emphasis on the danger of terrorism and using it as a pretext to maintain the status quo and to pursue the current practices that we suffer from every day.
There must be a chance given to us to build our civilian security and economic institutions.
And the international community must sponsor this opportunity so that our authority and our government would fully fulfill their mandates.
I must emphasize that our determination to end occupation emanates from our vision that we would remove the most important reasons for terrorism in our region and worldwide without underestimating the need to fight terrorism under all circumstances and from any source. Because it is a comprehensive threat that threatens the future of every people and imperils human civilization, its gains and achievements, and brings dire consequences on all of us.
Here, I must applaud the tireless efforts undertaken by Mr. Tony Blair, who continues to work in order to build and enhance building Palestinian institutions and to complete great projects at the economic level in order to improve the living conditions and the terms of peace. And in that endeavor, he continues to submit very constructive ideas.
And I wish to pay tribute to the role of the European Union, Japan and our Arab brothers who made commitments to support these economic projects and building the future Palestinian state institutions.
Mr. President, I would like to take this opportunity to address the mind and conscience of every citizen in Israel from this rostrum.
I'm speaking on the basis for our recognition that, despite the importance of international and regional support for the success of the peace process, but the most determining factor for the making peace and stability and its sustainability at the end of the day is the public opinion in Palestine, Israel and their legitimate leaders.
I start by saying that, despite our disagreements on critical issues, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert showed desire for peace that I have perceived during our bilateral discussions, and that genuinely contributed to reach this important step for which we are meeting today in order to launch.
Mr. Prime Minister, I wish that we, together, continue and closely work in order to achieve a historical mission that we have waited for too long.
Each one of us must pitch in our weight and experience and sense of resolve in order to overcome the obstacles that we will face and to close the gaps between our positions in a bid to achieve a solution that would end occupation and the long years of suffering of the refugees and ensure good neighbor relations, economic cooperation, humanitarian openness so that all of them would ensure guarantees for peace that are stronger than any documents, commitments or pledges, despite the importance of these all.
I say to the citizens of Israel, in this extraordinary day, you, our neighbors on this small land, neither us nor you are begging for peace from each other. It is a common interest for us and for you.
Peace and freedom is a right to us, in as much as peace and security is a right for you and for us.
Time has come for the cycle of blood, violence and occupation to come to an end. Time has come that both of us should look at the future with confidence and hope, and that this long-suffering land, which was called the land of love and peace, would not be worth of its own name.
Peace is not impossible to achieve if there was will and good faith and every party got its legitimate right.
Those who say that peace-making between us is impossible, actually does not need except to perpetuate this conflict toward the unknown, but it is, we all know, in other words, that continuation of bloodshed for many decades to come. After that, we would not reach the solution proposed today, all of which we know, all its components and elements. Or the ideal of peace would be killed in the hearts and minds.
Indeed, peace is possible but it requires our common efforts so that we could make it and preserve it.
And on this day we stretch our hands to you as equal partners in peace. The whole world is our witness and the world as a whole is supporting us.
Therefore, we should not lose this opportunity which might not be available once again. Let us make a peace with a brave (ph) and protect that peace in the interest of the future of our children and your children.
To our friends across the globe, members of the international quartet, and all participants in this conference, powers and states outside this conference who have been and continue to lend support for us, I say to all of you that our people will never, ever forget your support for it under all circumstances and under our most difficult times.
We look forward that your political presence will continue to be with us after this conference, in order to support Palestinian-Israeli negotiations with a view to reach the desired results.
We all hope that the work of this conference would be supported by the success of the Paris economic conference to be held after a few weeks.
The continuation and success of negotiations would be the real key to change the face of the entire region.
Allah, the Lord, said in the Koran, in the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful, all you who believe, enter into peace, all of you, don't follow the steps of Satan.
Satan is your obvious enemy."
The Lord also said, "If they move toward peace, then you should move to peace and have faith in the Lord, because God, the Lord, will listen and support that effort."
And on this occasion, may I record here, as we are here in the United States of America, the words of former United States President John F. Kennedy, who said, quote, "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate," end of quotation.
To our Palestinian people, to all Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and in refugee camps and the diaspora, may I address these words?
I do recognize that each one of you has his or her personal pain, personal tragedy as a result of this conflict and as a result of the years of tragedy and occupation. These are very bitter years.
Don't be depressed, Don't lose confidence and hope, For the whole world today now is stretching its hand toward us in order to help us put an end to our tragedy, to our holocaust that has been running for too long, and to lift the historical injustice that our people suffer.
And we shall be ready as individuals and as a people to overcome pain and the tragedy when we reach a settlement that would ensure our rights, that would make us equal with all other peoples in the whole world: the right to independence and self-determination.
To the Palestinian mothers who are awaiting the return of their children from prisons, to the Palestinian children who are dreaming of a new life, a better future - more prosperous, more safe future, to our brave prisoners - my sisters, brothers, children - wherever you are, have confidence in the future and tomorrow, because future Palestine is coming, because this is the promise of the whole world to you.
Be confident that the dawn is coming.
To my people and relatives in the Gaza Strip, you are at the core of my heart. The hours of darkness will end in the face of your resolve and determination. For your insistence on the unity of our people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as one geographical political unit without any divergence, your suffering will end. Right and peace will prevail.
May I close by recalling some words of Abraham Lincoln in one of the darkest moments of American history? Quote, "Let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations," end of quotation.
We started with peace and I end on a note of peace and we hope that peace would prevail. Peace be upon all of you.
This is from President Bush's speech above:
"The parties also commit to immediately implement their respective obligations under the performance-based road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict issued by the Quartet on 30 April, 2003" - this is called the road map.The Annapolis joint declaration is kickstarting the 2003 roadmap issued by the Quartet. It is an interesting use of words especially in light of Daniel 9:27 per KJV:
"The United States is proud to host this meeting, and we reaffirm the path to peace set out in the road map."
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.Some translations say "he shall make a strong covenant" or something along those lines instead of "confirm the covenant." Either way, this covenant has something to do with Israel and Jerusalem as it says a few verses before in the book of Daniel (9:24):
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.Whether the roadmap IS indeed the fulfillment of this prophecy or not, I think it's a pretty good bet to say that somewhere in that room where this declaration was read was either the AC or his representative seeing just about the whole world was represented somehow in that room (the US was host to the world so it could be anyone there, not necessarily the US). This roadmap seems to lay everything out in a matter of a couple of years, so it's probably leading up to a specific 7 year treaty? who knows. It's still quite chilling to read those words.
Here is the text of that roadmap alluded to by President Bush which specifically talks about the fate of the Israelis and Jerusalem (I guess for this declaration/roadmap implementation to be finalized they will have an official signing ceremony before the end of 2008?):
Press StatementPresident Bush wasn't the only one talking of affirmation. Both Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas spoke of affirming the Arab Peace Initiative:
Office of the Spokesman
April 30, 2003
A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The following is a performance-based and goal-driven roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian, and institution-building fields, under the auspices of the Quartet [the United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia]. The destination is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005, as presented in President Bush’s speech of 24 June, and welcomed by the EU, Russia and the UN in the 16 July and 17 September Quartet Ministerial statements.
A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established, and a clear, unambiguous acceptance by both parties of the goal of a negotiated settlement as described below. The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan, starting in Phase I, including direct discussions between the parties as required. The plan establishes a realistic timeline for implementation. However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations outlined below. Should the parties perform their obligations rapidly, progress within and through the phases may come sooner than indicated in the plan. Non-compliance with obligations will impede progress.
A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors. The settlement will resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and end the occupation that began in 1967, based on the foundations of the Madrid Conference, the principle of land for peace, UNSCRs 242, 338 and 1397, agreements previously reached by the parties, and the initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah – endorsed by the Beirut Arab League Summit – calling for acceptance of Israel as a neighbor living in peace and security, in the context of a comprehensive settlement. This initiative is a vital element of international efforts to promote a comprehensive peace on all tracks, including the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks.
The Quartet will meet regularly at senior levels to evaluate the parties' performance on implementation of the plan. In each phase, the parties are expected to perform their obligations in parallel, unless otherwise indicated.
Phase I: Ending Terror And Violence, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions -- Present to May 2003
In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below; such action should be accompanied by supportive measures undertaken by Israel. Palestinians and Israelis resume security cooperation based on the Tenet work plan to end violence, terrorism, and incitement through restructured and effective Palestinian security services. Palestinians undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood, including drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures. Israel takes all necessary steps to help normalize Palestinian life. Israel withdraws from Palestinian areas occupied from September 28, 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed at that time, as security performance and cooperation progress. Israel also freezes all settlement activity, consistent with the Mitchell report.
At the outset of Phase I:
- Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.
- Israeli leadership issues unequivocal statement affirming its commitment to the two-state vision of an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel, as expressed by President Bush, and calling for an immediate end to violence against Palestinians everywhere. All official Israeli institutions end incitement against Palestinians.
- Palestinians declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.
- Rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons and consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption.
- GOI takes no actions undermining trust, including deportations, attacks on civilians; confiscation and/or demolition of Palestinian homes and property, as a punitive measure or to facilitate Israeli construction; destruction of Palestinian institutions and infrastructure; and other measures specified in the Tenet work plan.
- Relying on existing mechanisms and on-the-ground resources, Quartet representatives begin informal monitoring and consult with the parties on establishment of a formal monitoring mechanism and its implementation.
- Implementation, as previously agreed, of U.S. rebuilding, training and resumed security cooperation plan in collaboration with outside oversight board (U.S.–Egypt–Jordan). Quartet support for efforts to achieve a lasting, comprehensive cease-fire.
- All Palestinian security organizations are consolidated into three services reporting to an empowered Interior Minister.
- Restructured/retrained Palestinian security forces and IDF counterparts progressively resume security cooperation and other undertakings in implementation of the Tenet work plan, including regular senior-level meetings, with the participation of U.S. security officials.
- Arab states cut off public and private funding and all other forms of support for groups supporting and engaging in violence and terror.
- All donors providing budgetary support for the Palestinians channel these funds through the Palestinian Ministry of Finance's Single Treasury Account.
- As comprehensive security performance moves forward, IDF withdraws progressively from areas occupied since September 28, 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed prior to September 28, 2000. Palestinian security forces redeploy to areas vacated by IDF.
- Immediate action on credible process to produce draft constitution for Palestinian statehood. As rapidly as possible, constitutional committee circulates draft Palestinian constitution, based on strong parliamentary democracy and cabinet with empowered prime minister, for public comment/debate. Constitutional committee proposes draft document for submission after elections for approval by appropriate Palestinian institutions.
- Appointment of interim prime minister or cabinet with empowered executive authority/decision-making body.
- GOI fully facilitates travel of Palestinian officials for PLC and Cabinet sessions, internationally supervised security retraining, electoral and other reform activity, and other supportive measures related to the reform efforts.
- Continued appointment of Palestinian ministers empowered to undertake fundamental reform. Completion of further steps to achieve genuine separation of powers, including any necessary Palestinian legal reforms for this purpose.
- Establishment of independent Palestinian election commission. PLC reviews and revises election law.
- Palestinian performance on judicial, administrative, and economic benchmarks, as established by the International Task Force on Palestinian Reform.
- As early as possible, and based upon the above measures and in the context of open debate and transparent candidate selection/electoral campaign based on a free, multi-party process, Palestinians hold free, open, and fair elections.
- GOI facilitates Task Force election assistance, registration of voters, movement of candidates and voting officials. Support for NGOs involved in the election process.
- GOI reopens Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and other closed Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem based on a commitment that these institutions operate strictly in accordance with prior agreements between the parties.
- Israel takes measures to improve the humanitarian situation. Israel and Palestinians implement in full all recommendations of the Bertini report to improve humanitarian conditions, lifting curfews and easing restrictions on movement of persons and goods, and allowing full, safe, and unfettered access of international and humanitarian personnel.
- AHLC reviews the humanitarian situation and prospects for economic development in the West Bank and Gaza and launches a major donor assistance effort, including to the reform effort.
- GOI and PA continue revenue clearance process and transfer of funds, including arrears, in accordance with agreed, transparent monitoring mechanism.
- Continued donor support, including increased funding through PVOs/NGOs, for people to people programs, private sector development and civil society initiatives.
- GOI immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.
- Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).
Phase II: Transition -- June 2003-December 2003
In the second phase, efforts are focused on the option of creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty, based on the new constitution, as a way station to a permanent status settlement. As has been noted, this goal can be achieved when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror, willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty. With such a leadership, reformed civil institutions and security structures, the Palestinians will have the active support of the Quartet and the broader international community in establishing an independent, viable, state.
Progress into Phase II will be based upon the consensus judgment of the Quartet of whether conditions are appropriate to proceed, taking into account performance of both parties. Furthering and sustaining efforts to normalize Palestinian lives and build Palestinian institutions, Phase II starts after Palestinian elections and ends with possible creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders in 2003. Its primary goals are continued comprehensive security performance and effective security cooperation, continued normalization of Palestinian life and institution-building, further building on and sustaining of the goals outlined in Phase I, ratification of a democratic Palestinian constitution, formal establishment of office of prime minister, consolidation of political reform, and the creation of a Palestinian state with provisional borders.
- International Conference: Convened by the Quartet, in consultation with the parties, immediately after the successful conclusion of Palestinian elections, to support Palestinian economic recovery and launch a process, leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders.
- Such a meeting would be inclusive, based on the goal of a comprehensive Middle East peace (including between Israel and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon), and based on the principles described in the preamble to this document.
- Arab states restore pre-intifada links to Israel (trade offices, etc.).
- Revival of multilateral engagement on issues including regional water resources, environment, economic development, refugees, and arms control issues.
- New constitution for democratic, independent Palestinian state is finalized and approved by appropriate Palestinian institutions. Further elections, if required, should follow approval of the new constitution.
- Empowered reform cabinet with office of prime minister formally established, consistent with draft constitution.
- Continued comprehensive security performance, including effective security cooperation on the bases laid out in Phase I.
- Creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders through a process of Israeli-Palestinian engagement, launched by the international conference. As part of this process, implementation of prior agreements, to enhance maximum territorial contiguity, including further action on settlements in conjunction with establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders.
- Enhanced international role in monitoring transition, with the active, sustained, and operational support of the Quartet.
- Quartet members promote international recognition of Palestinian state, including possible UN membership.
Phase III: Permanent Status Agreement and End of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict -- 2004 – 2005
Progress into Phase III, based on consensus judgment of Quartet, and taking into account actions of both parties and Quartet monitoring. Phase III objectives are consolidation of reform and stabilization of Palestinian institutions, sustained, effective Palestinian security performance, and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at a permanent status agreement in 2005.
- Second International Conference: Convened by Quartet, in consultation with the parties, at beginning of 2004 to endorse agreement reached on an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and formally to launch a process with the active, sustained, and operational support of the Quartet, leading to a final, permanent status resolution in 2005, including on borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements; and, to support progress toward a comprehensive Middle East settlement between Israel and Lebanon and Israel and Syria, to be achieved as soon as possible.
- Continued comprehensive, effective progress on the reform agenda laid out by the Task Force in preparation for final status agreement.
- Continued sustained and effective security performance, and sustained, effective security cooperation on the bases laid out in Phase I.
- International efforts to facilitate reform and stabilize Palestinian institutions and the Palestinian economy, in preparation for final status agreement.
- Parties reach final and comprehensive permanent status agreement that ends the Israel-Palestinian conflict in 2005, through a settlement negotiated between the parties based on UNSCR 242, 338, and 1397, that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and includes an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue, and a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide, and fulfills the vision of two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.
- Arab state acceptance of full normal relations with Israel and security for all the states of the region in the context of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.
Released on April 30, 2003
Olmert:The Arab Peace Initiative was first proposed on March 28, 2002 and reaffirmed at the Riyadh Summit in 2007:
"I am familiar with the Arab peace initiative, which was born in Riyadh, affirmed in Beirut and recently reaffirmed by you in Riyadh. I value this initiative, I acknowledge its importance, and I highly appreciate its contribution. I have no doubt that we will continue to refer to it in the course of the negotiations between us and the Palestinian leadership."
"This Arab and Islamic participation in today's meeting is also an affirmation that the Arab peace initiative was not a step without well-defined targets, but indeed it was a bold strategic plan that aims changing the nature of relations in the region and to usher in a new era there."
The Arab Peace Initiative
The Council of the League of Arab States at the Summit Level, at its 14th Ordinary Session,
- Reaffirms the resolution taken in June 1996 at the Cairo extraordinary Arab summit that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East is the strategic option of the Arab countries, to be achieved in accordance with international legality, and which would require a comparable commitment on the part of the Israeli government.
- Having listened to the statement made by his royal highness Prince Abdullah Bin Abdullaziz, the crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in which his highness presented his initiative, calling for full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, reaffirmed by the Madrid Conference of 1991 and the land for peace principle, and Israel's acceptance of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel.
- Emanating from the conviction of the Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties, the council:
1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.
2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:
a. Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights to the lines of June 4, 1967 as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
b. Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.
c. The acceptance of the establishment of a Sovereign Independent Palestinian State on the Palestinian territories occupied since the 4th of June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital.
3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:
a. Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.
b. Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.
4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries.
5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospects for peace and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab Countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighborliness and provide future generations with security, stability, and prosperity.
6. Invites the international community and all countries and organizations to support this initiative.
7. Requests the chairman of the summit to form a special committee composed of some of its concerned member states and the secretary general of the League of Arab States to pursue the necessary contacts to gain support for this initiative at all levels, particularly from the United Nations, the security council, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Muslim States and the European Union.
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