FM Peres Responds to PA Chairman Arafat’s Speech

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
May 15, 2001

In response to Palestinian Authority Chairman Arafat’s speech today, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres stated that it was agreed upon in the Oslo Accords that differences of opinion between the sides would be resolved through negotiations and not through ‘intifada’ or terrorism. "We must continue to build bridges and not walls of fire and blood. No solution will be found to any of the outstanding issues as long as both peoples, do not enjoy mutual respect and security. Neither of the sides can, nor should, dictate their views to the other. The goal of negotiations is to achieve a compromise and not to force a solution or capitulation."

The Foreign Minister called upon Chairman Arafat to return to the negotiating table, recalling that the lessons of history have shown that very little, if anything, has ever been gained through war, while a great deal has been achieved through negotiations.