Full Text of Arafat’s Statement to News Conference
Following is the full text of a statement Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat read in English to a news conference Wednesday, clarifying his position on U.S. preconditions for dialogue:
Let me highlight my views before you. Our desire for peace is a strategy and not an interim tactic. We are bent on peace come what may, come what may.
Our statehood provides salvation to the Palestinians and peace to both Palestinians and Israelis.
Self-determination means survival for the Palestinians and our survival does not destroy the survival of the Israelis, as their rulers claim. Yesterday in my speech I made reference to United Nations Resolution 181 (on the partition of Palestine) as the basis for Palestinian independence. I also made reference to our acceptance of Resolution 242 and 338 as the basis for negotiations with Israel within the framework of the international conference. These three resolutions were endorsed by our Palestine National Council session in Algiers.
In my speech also yesterday, it was clear that we mean our people’s rights to freedom and national independence, according to Resolution 181, and the right of all parties concerned in the Middle East conflict to exist in peace and security, and, as I have mentioned, including the state of Palestine, Israel and other neighbors, according to the Resolution 242 and 338.
As for terrorism, I announced it yesterday in no uncertain terms, and yet, I repeat for the record. I repeat for the record that we totally and absolutely renounce all forms of terrorism, including individual, group and state terrorism.
Between Geneva and Algiers, we have made our position crystal clear. Any more talk such as “The Palestinians should give more"--you remember this slogan?--or “It is not enough” or “The Palestinians are engaging in propaganda games and public relations exercises” will be damaging and counterproductive.
Enough is enough. Enough is enough. Enough is enough. All remaining matters should be discussed around the table and within the international conference.
Let it be absolutely clear that neither Arafat, nor any (one else) for that matter, can stop the intifada, the uprising. The intifada will come to an end only when practical and tangible steps have been taken towards the achievement of our national aims and establishment of our independent Palestinian state.
In this context, I expect the EEC (European Economic Community) to play a more effective role in promoting peace in our region. They have a political responsibility, they have a moral responsibility, and they can deal with it.
Finally, I declare before you and I ask you to kindly quote me on that: We want peace. We want peace. We are committed to peace. We are committed to peace. We want to live in our Palestinian state, and let live. Thank you.