Tuesday, February 08, 2005

In their own words: Sharon & Abbas announce an end to violence

We shall all declare today that violence will not murder hope. This is the day when the process began moving forward - to bring peace for all the people of the Middle East...

[There is a] new wind [blowing] and we should not let it pass, leaving us empty handed. We must not miss this opportunity to put a stop to four years of violence; this is a delicate opportunity, and we must be careful... we agreed that the Palestinians will put a stop to violence and Israel will stop its military actions against the Palestinians.

We must not make do with a temporary stop in violence, but rather be determined and make sure that terror comes to a full stop, for good. We are willing to commit to all the obligations we agreed upon, and expect the same from the other side.

To our Palestinian neighbors I promise that we intend to honor your right to live a life of peace; we have no desire to occupy you. You should prove you have the courage to reach compromises and live alongside us in peace and respect.

To my people: We have gone through four tough years – and overcome. Now is the time to bring about security, peace and quiet. This is the only way to reach a situation where there are two states, living in peace alongside each other.

- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Sharm e-Sheikh summit

We have agreed with PM Sharon to cease all acts of violence against the Israelis and the Palestinians wherever they are.

[Today is the] beginning of the process of bridging the gap between all of us.

It is high time that our people enjoy their right to live a normal life just like normal people under the rule of law. We look forward to that day and hope it will come quickly when the language of negotiations will replace the language of bullets.

- PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Sharm e-Sheikh summit

For more on this story, read this Jerusalem Post article

Other developments:
- Egypt to return ambassador to Tel Aviv
- Jordam to return ambassador to Tel Aviv
- I predict over half a dozen Gulf and North African states will follow suit within 6-12 months


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