FM Peres on the Palestinian Legislative Council Meeting

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Jerusalem, 9 September 2002

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres stated today (9 September) in the wake of the meeting of the Palestinian Legislative Assembly, that everything will be judged according to its outcome. "If the call to cease violence will indeed bring about an end to the violence, then it will be a positive step – yet if the violence does not stop, it will be yet another meaningless declaration."

Minister Peres expressed the hope that the recent positive developments in the realm of Palestinian financial reform will also occur in the realm of security, and that a single command over all Palestinian armed forces will be established.

Mr. Peres added that not everything should be focused upon the persona of Arafat. "A serious and genuine internal debate is taking place among the Palestinians which Israel should not attempt to manage. There are some Palestinians, like Abu Mazen, who publicly admit that the intifada was an error and that an important opportunity was missed." Minister Peres also noted the public call for an end to the terrorism recently voiced by Abdel Razek Yehiye.

"We must wait and see whether the debate will produce results. I hope that the Palestinian people will bring this debate to a positive conclusion, for the sake of their own future", Peres stated.