At the Sharm El Sheikh Peace Summit
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
25 June 2007
I would like to begin by thanking President Mubarak for hosting this meeting, which convenes as the Middle East is passing through a critical phase, and amidst the extraordinary suffering of the Palestinian people. These circumstances require us to work, to our utmost ability, to help Palestinians and Israelis to end the cycle of violence, and to launch a real peace process that can realise the hopes and aspirations of the region's peoples to live in security and stability and to build a better future for Palestinians and Israelis.
The dangerous events in the Gaza Strip over the past days should be an incentive for all of us to move forward on the path we accept for our people; the path of security and peace, based on the restoration of the Palestinian people's rights guaranteed by international resolutions. These are in essence the foundation of the two-state solution: a viable Palestinian State, on the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, that lives in security and peace, alongside the State of Israel.
To achieve this goal, work must be done to create the appropriate atmosphere to launch real negotiations. This requires support for Palestinian legitimacy, which is represented by the Palestinian National Authority, an end to the siege imposed on the Palestinian people, the release of the Authority's frozen funds and the removal of constraints that limit the movement and mobility of the Palestinian people. This should be in exchange for a complete and candid Palestinian commitment to, and respect for, the agreements and international conventions signed by the two parties.
The path of peace is clear; so is the path of violence and conflict. If we are to build a better future for our peoples, we have to act - today and not tomorrow - by taking the right path to achieve this goal, and be guided by the principles of true coexistence and respect for the rights of others.
Let us make today an opportunity to realise this dream, for which we have awaited for so long. The alternative is the loss of long and laborious years of negotiations, and a new opportunity for the enemies of peace to impose their agenda, at the expense of the region's peoples and its future generations.
Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you.