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Powell with Israeli President Moshe Katsav

Published: Fri 29 Jun 2001 09:33 AM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman (Jerusalem) For Immediate Release June 28, 2001
Remarks By U.S. Secretary Of State Colin L. Powell And Israeli President Moshe Katsav After Breakfast
June 28, 2001 Beit Hanassi Jerusalem
PRESIDENT KATSAV: I would like to express my gratitude to the American Administration and to Secretary Colin Powell. This mission is very complicated, very difficult. We indeed appreciate their readiness to invest a lot of effort. I believe that we are at a very crucial stage -- chapter in our relation with the Palestinian Authority. I really believe that stopping the violence, ceasing the fire, -- is -- the name of the game. I believe that we could not compromise with this matter. We cannot supply any legitimacy to bloodshed. Every day, every week, the suffering is really very deep and very wide. We must stop it. The renewal of the peace talks is very important, but let us assume that we renew the peace talks, that terrorism will continue, so the atmosphere will not give any real possibility to negotiate seriously.
So, at this stage, I believe that Chairman Yasser Arafat has the ability to control the situation. I believe that he should express determination and stop the violence, and by doing that we will be able, really, to renew the peace talks. The bloodshed is a disaster for us, a disaster for the Palestinian people, and it is a disaster for the whole region.
Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for your coming here, and for your efforts. Really, all the Israelis wish you success in this difficult mission.
Thank you very much.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President, and thank you for your hospitality this morning. It is a great pleasure to be back in Israel and to have the benefit of your wisdom. This is our third meeting in just the five months that I have been Secretary of State, and I look forward to many more such meetings. On this occasion, I am looking forward to my meetings with Foreign Minister Peres and Chairman Arafat, and this evening with Prime Minister Sharon.
I am here at the request of President Bush to do everything I can to move the process forward, to get to a stage in this process where we can begin the active implementation of the Mitchell Committee report, which we view as a package. It begins with the unconditional cessation of violence, moves through confidence-building measures, and then ultimately leads to the beginning of final status negotiations. It is a package, but it is a package that comes in sequence, and the sequence begins with eliminating the violence.
The Tenet work-plan, which was released two weeks ago when Mr. Tenet was here, gives us a way into the Mitchell Committee report actions, and on this occasion I hope to encourage all parties to do everything they can to speak out against violence, to take action against violence, to speak to their publics, to control
passions, to do everything within the powers that they have as leaders and as moral leaders of peoples of this troubled region to bring the violence under control. I am particularly anxious to see if we cannot build upon the somewhat lowered level of violence we have seen in recent days and create a quiet period, so that some confidence can be restored and give us the option of moving into the Mitchell Committee cooling-off period.
And so, I look forward to my conversations with the leaders of the region in the course of the day, and I hope as a result of my visit we will get closer to the beginning of the implementation of the Mitchell Committee report. It is the only thing we have to work with right now. We must not lose this opportunity to help bring this crisis to a resolution.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
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