September 4, 1999
Ladies and gentlemen, after long days and nights of serious negotiations and hard work, it was finally possible to reach agreement on a formula for a timetable for the implementation of the Wye Plantation Accord.
There were moments of loss of hope. However, reason and mutual accommodation prevailed at the end. All the parties realized fully that the road is still a long one and that the difficulties which lie ahead would be great. But with vision and determination, the success which has been achieved in the past few days can be built on.
It is our earnest hope that the implementation of this new agreement will proceed promptly and without much contention. This will require from all of us vigilance, mutual understanding and good faith.
The paramount goal is to reach a just agreement on the final status of the West Bank and Gaza. We will remain actively involved and engaged in support of the negotiations that will lead to the goal during the months ahead. What is needed in order to enable the parties to achieve their goal is to build bridges of confidence between them. This is a factor which will serve the rights and interests of both parties. Likewise it is an important requirement to create the right atmosphere to achieve meaningful progress on the other tracks.
The parties directly involved have exerted tremendous effort in order to make this achievement possible. But other contributed generously to this process too. Secretary Albright played an important role which reflected President Clinton’s commitment to peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. The European Union took helpful positions as well. As we did for years, we shall be most willing to help whenever this is made possible by the parties themselves.
We look forward to the days ahead with hope and optimism. We are confident that both the Palestinians and the Israeli people desire to live in peace and dignity. They have suffered long enough from bloodshed and tension. They are entitled to a new era of co-existence and peaceful interaction. Let us all vow to turn a new chapter in the history of this troubled region. God willing, we shall prevail. Thank you very much.