Reaction of FM Shimon Peres to the speech by US President Bush
(As broadcast on Israel Radio, June 25, 2002)

"I know that one speech cannot bring salvation, but this is an important speech, although there are still problems which have to be dealt with seriously.

The speech contains several clear and important elements. It clearly sets forth the the goals of the policy – namely the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, in the hope that they will live together as partners. President Bush believes that this goal can be achieved, if there will in fact be a ceasefire for three years.

At the same time, the speech contains very sharp words about terror. In fact, the President is saying is that it is hard to fight terror without a very basic governmental reform of the Palestinian Authority, because Palestinian terror thrives in political confusion."