Jerusalem, 1 May 2001

PM Sharon to Bavarian PM Stoiber:
Arafat in complete control of what is happening; total halt to violence and terrorism must precede diplomatic negotiations

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met this morning (Tuesday), May 1, 2001, with Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber.

Prime Minister Sharon briefed his guest on the recent severe escalation in Palestinian terrorism and violence and emphasized that the government’s supreme obligation is to the security of Israel’s residents. The Prime Minister added that the government will do whatever is necessary to protect Israelis and asserted that Israel is committed to peace, but not at the cost of its citizens’ lives.

Prime Minister Sharon said that his government would conduct diplomatic negotiations only after the complete cessation of violence and terrorism in all their forms. "There has been no ceasefire, not even for a second – there is talk on the one hand, and actions on the other. Arafat is in complete control of what is happening both in regard to operating terrorist networks and vis-a-vis the wild incitement in the Palestinian media," the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Sharon expressed his support for the request by the families of the 1976 Munich Olympic massacre victims for monetary compensation and said that he hoped that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder would bring this painful issue to a rapid conclusion, to the satisfaction of the bereaved families.