Jerusalem, 30 April 2001

PM Sharon to EU Rep Solana:
Government will conduct diplomatic negotiations only after cessation of violence; Arafat responsible for terrorism; testing period necessary

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met today (Monday), 30.4.2001, in his Jerusalem office, with the European Union Council Secretary-General and High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and told him that the Israeli government will conduct diplomatic negotiations only after the cessation of violence. The Prime Minister emphasized that there must be a complete halt to terrorism in all its forms. "We will consider the situation only according to the results on the ground and not according to statements and promises," the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Sharon said that the situation is intolerable and noted that there has been an escalation in the violence since Independence Day. He pointed out that the Palestinian Authority is not fulfilling the commitments it has made in the various agreements to undertake a counter-terrorist policy and asserted that PA Chairman Yasser Arafat is responsible for the terrorism.

Prime Minister Sharon stressed that his primary obligation is to the security of Israeli citizens and said that if the PA does not act to halt the violence, Israel would be obliged to do so without, however, intending to escalate the situation. "No country in the world would countenance terrorism on a daily basis and be prepared to pay with its residents’ blood," the Prime Minister said.

Regarding the Egyptian-Jordanian initiative, Prime Minister Sharon said that a testing period for the cessation of violence in accordance with conditions on the ground is necessary and that reaching a settlement could be realized only after complete quiet has been achieved and following the full implementation of signed agreements.