[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
White House Announcer: Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, from the Palestinian delegation.
Mr. Abbas: In the name of God, the Most Merciful and Compassionate: Mr. President (Clinton); Your Majesty, King Hussein; President Mubarak; Prime Minister Rabin; Prime Minister (of Spain), Felipe Gonzalez; Chairman Yasser Arafat; ladies and gentlemen: God's peace and mercy will be upon you.
Two years ago, here, and under the auspices of the United States government and the Russian Federation, we signed the Declaration of Principles, that historic event through which we ended a century of aggression, hatred, wars, bloodshed, and destruction.
We have determined with complete will, desire, and ambitions to have a historic reconciliation between our two peoples; reconciliation that is founded on the basis of justice and international legitimacy; reconciliation that's based on good intentions and equality.
Some people try to devalue that historic event to the level of condemnation and accusation. Others with skeptical views expected failure and neglect for that historic event. The third group tried to repress that historic event by the use of force, violence, and terrorism in order to silence the genuine desire of peace that exists among the peoples of the region and to replace it with old ways.
However, the determination of the majority and the wisdom of the leadership on both sides did not allow those to succeed; and overcame all difficulties and obstacles, and sustained all violence and terrorism; and with a strong determination decided to walk the path of peace, a path that was chosen by the leadership and accepted by the people.
We are here to reaffirm that we will stand fast against everyone who tries to obstruct this process, and return the wheels of history [to] the days of the past. Peacemakers represent the future, while terrorism has become a part of the past that will never come back again.
For more than a year and a half, our negotiators exerted incredible and relentless efforts. They have spent long days and weeks and months, and they went through the most difficult and vigorous circumstances. They lived through a mountain of tension. But you, Mr. President, President Clinton, as well as President Mubarak, King Hussein, King Hassan the Second, and President Ben Ali -- you all worked with the negotiators, every hour and every minute. And here you are today, with us, to celebrate the achievement of those years.
We are still at the beginning of the road. We have ended one phase, but we must continue our efforts to fulfill the process and to do our part. We have to solve the issues of the permanent status, which we hope...will be crowned with success, and allow us to reach not only a peace agreement but a peace treaty, and a treaty of peace for the land of peace.
Mr. President, the problem of those who are in detention has been solved through phases. This is an issue that will introduce happiness to the hearts of many Palestinian families. If I were in Prime Minister Rabin's position -- this is a wish -- I would have released all of them, to bring happiness and smiles to every home. These smiles are the key that would open the hearts for peace.
Mr. President, distinguished guests, Your Majesty, as much as you work for peace, peace will be upon all of us.
See also: Text of Oslo II Agreement
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Page Updated: 11/6/17
Page Updated: 11/6/17
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