`My People Are Hoping.'
Excerpts from remarks by PLO chairman Yasser Arafat.
IN the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Passionate. Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to express our tremendous appreciation to President Clinton and to his administration for sponsoring this historic event, which the entire world has been waiting for. Mr. President, I am taking this opportunity to assure you and to assure the great American people that we share your values for freedom, justice, and human rights - values for which my people have been striving.
My people are hoping that this agreement, which we are signing today, marks the beginning of the end of a chapter of pain and suffering, which has lasted throughout this century.
My people are hoping that this agreement, which we are signing today, will usher in an age of peace, coexistence, and equal rights. We are relying on your role, Mr. President, and on the role of all the countries which believe that without peace in the Middle East, peace in the world will not be complete.
Enforcing the agreement and moving toward the final settlement, after two years, to implement all aspects of UN Resolutions 242 and 338 in all of their aspects, and resolve all the issues of Jerusalem, the settlements, the refugees, and the boundaries will be a Palestinian and an Israeli responsibility.
It is also the responsibility of the international community in its entirety to help the parties overcome the tremendous difficulties which are still standing in the way of reaching a final and comprehensive settlement. …