President Bush hails Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as 'man of peace'
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Wednesday September 20, 2006
President Bush hailed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday as "a man of peace who believes in a two-state solution."
Transcript of remarks by Bush and Abbas:
PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, thank you for coming. Yesterday, in my speech to the United Nations, I said that you're a man of peace who believes in a two-state solution. And after our conversation today, once again you confirmed that.
I, too, believe that the best way to bring peace to the Holy Land is for two democratic states living side by side in peace. I said in my speech yesterday that the Palestinian state must have territorial integrity. I firmly believe that. I also said in my speech that the -- one of the great objectives of my administration is to achieve this vision.
I fully understand that in order to achieve this vision, there must be leaders willing to speak out and act on behalf of people who yearn for peace. And you are such a leader, Mr. President. I can't thank you enough for the courage you have shown. I assure you that our government wants to work with you in order so that you're able -- capable of delivering the vision that so many Palestinians long for, and that is a society in which they can raise their children in peace and hope. And I know that society is possible, and I appreciate your vision along those lines.
So welcome to Washington, D.C. I think this is our fifth visit. Every time, I've left our visits inspired by your vision.
(Note: President Abbas's remarks are through interpreter.)
PRESIDENT ABBAS: Mr. President, thank you very much. I am honored to meet with you, as you said, for the fifth time during this past year.
First of all, I would like to thank you greatly for the wonderful speech that you have delivered yesterday before the United Nations, and talked about the Palestinian issues and your vision of two states, and you adopt this vision.
Mr. President, you are the first American president who adopts the vision of two states living side by side.
Now, of course, I have talked with the president about the situation in the Palestinian territories and the difficulties that the Palestinian people are facing, as well as the possible solution that can get us out of these difficulties. And I mentioned to the president that more than 70 percent of the Palestinian population -- they believe in the two-state solution: a state of Palestine and a state of Israel living in peace and security next to each other. That means that the Palestinian people desire peace, and there is no power on Earth that can prevent the Palestinian people from moving toward a peaceful solution and living and coexisting in peace.
Now, of course, we look forward to activate the various plans and the various resolutions and the road map in order to be in a position to reach with our neighbors the desired objectives.
We always, Mr. President -- we look forward to your support and your help and your aid, because we are in dire need for your help and support.
Mr. President, we will always be faithful and truthful to peace, and we will not disappoint you.
PRESIDENT BUSH: That's good. Thank you very much. Thank you.