President of the Palestinian National Authority

Speech made to the Assembly

Thursday, 6 October 2011

In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful.

President Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour for me to be with you today, in this historic and venerable House, to speak to you, elected representatives of the countries of Europe, the living conscience of its friendly peoples, embodying the values of freedom, justice and human dignity.

I have come to you from Palestine, the land of peace, where the three monotheistic religions have always co-existed. I come to you bearing a message of peace and love from its people who have been rooted deeply in this land for thousands of years, devoted to it as their homeland, and continuing, despite the pain and suffering, their epic journey towards the noble goal of freedom and independence.

“You supported the Arab spring which was seeking democracy and freedom. Now the Palestinian spring has arrived asking for freedom and an end to occupation. We deserve your support […]. We are depending on you.”

Two weeks ago, as President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, I presented a request to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to accept the accession of the state of Palestine as a full member of the international organisation, and I explained in my speech before the General Assembly the reasons for my taking such a step.

Two decades have passed since the Madrid peace conference, and 18 years since the signing of the Oslo agreement in Washington, which was supposed to culminate, by 5 May 1999 at the latest, in a final peace agreement terminating in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state living alongside the state of Israel in peace and security. Since that date our Palestinian people have been waiting impatiently for implementation of that entitlement, but sadly in vain. How much longer must that go on?

Despite that, we have seized every opportunity to reach a solution through negotiation, we accepted unreservedly the principle of the road map, despite the observations we had about it, but we came up against the prevarication of the Israeli Government to negotiate on this basis. Then we accepted the invitation of the former US President George W. Bush to the Annapolis negotiations, which achieved some progress with the acceptance of the former Israeli Government, under Prime Minister Yehud Olmert, to refer to the 1967 borders based on the principle of swapping territory of equal value and size. However, it was not long before the Israeli Government changed, resulting in the cessation of negotiations once again.

When US President Barack Obama was elected, we once again demonstrated unlimited co-operation with his Administration, and we agreed to all the suggestions put forward for a resumption of the negotiations, the latest of which was a round of direct negotiations which Washington initiated in September 2010 on the condition that it resulted in a peace agreement within a period not exceeding one year.

We entered into those negotiations with an open heart, and sincere intentions, but we came up against the evasiveness of the Israeli Government to negotiate seriously on permanent status issues, in so far as they took advantage of the beginning of the negotiations to embark upon unprecedented intensification of their settlement activity in Jerusalem and other areas in the occupied West Bank. That government refused to resume negotiations from the point at which they had ended with the former government of Mr Olmert, and insisted on returning to point zero. They refused to apply the terms of reference for the negotiations based on the decisions of international law. When their representatives sat down at the negotiating table, they refused to discuss the issue of borders or any permanent status issues.

With regard to security, which is a sensitive issue for Israel, as we are all aware, we had an understanding with the former Israeli Government and the former US Administration, and a number of Arab parties – Egypt and Jordan – on effective measures to safeguard security of the Palestinians and Israelis via an agreed third party, NATO. However, Mr Netanyahu rejected all this and insisted on an unacceptable concept of security, based on expansion and colonisation, by annexing Jerusalem and the settlement areas and lands situated to the west of the racist separation wall, in addition to the Jordan valley, which means more than 40% of the surface area of the occupied West Bank, as well as insisting on maintaining military bases inside the West Bank. We ask ourselves: if these demands are accepted, where will the Palestinian state be?

Peace and settlement activity are two contradictory issues – they are incompatible – and building settlements in occupied territories and the housing of settlers there by the occupying forces is a flagrant violation of international law and international humanitarian law, and a clear breach of the Geneva Conventions and the agreements between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel.

We are convinced of the need for a halt to the settlement activity, as it is one of the necessary conditions for resuming the peace process. This is not a precondition but an obligation laid down in the road map, and the peace process cannot move ahead if it depends only on Palestinians respecting their obligations, while Israel turns its back on all her commitments.

Settlement activity has expanded to the point of constituting a major danger that would undermine the foundations of the two-state solution, and since the signing of the Oslo Agreement the number of settlers has increased by 300%. Daily, there are declarations of new plans or tenders to build thousands of new settlement units.

What complicates matters further is that the Government of Israel insists on new unattainable preconditions that have no basis in the frame of reference for the peace process or the decisions of international law. Although we have recognised the state of Israel, requiring us to recognise it as a “Jewish” state is a precondition that cannot be acceptable, because it threatens to transform the conflict into a destructive religious conflict and would jeopardise the future of more than 1 million Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel. It would wipe out a priori the rights of the Palestinian refugees and would give cover for greater expansionist intentions that would jeopardise completely the opportunity for a two-state solution.

We, in our commitment to international law, have recognised the state of Israel according to formulae that have been negotiated and these were written in the text of an exchange of letters between the two late leaders, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin in 1993. For us, this issue was a closed one and any attempt to reopen it is an attempt to create new pretexts for placing impediments in the path of the peace process. On the other hand, we have the right to raise the question: why does Israel refuse to recognise our state, the state of Palestine, if it is really serious about accepting a two-state solution?

We affirmed our acceptance of international law when the Palestinian National Council, set up in 1988, decided to adopt the Palestinian peace programme that is based on the two-state solution: an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem on Palestinian lands which Israel occupied in June 1967 – namely only 22% of the historical land of Palestine – a state that would live side by side in peace and security with the state of Israel. That difficult and painful step was aimed at achieving the historical settlement that would allow us to build peace between the two peoples.

This programme continued to constitute the foundation on which the Arab peace initiative was based. This was the initiative adopted by the Arab League and other member states of the Islamic Co-operation Organisation – we are speaking of 57 Arab and Islamic states. This initiative expresses the readiness of all these states to establish normal relations with Israel within the framework of a comprehensive and lasting peace that would secure Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories to the borders of 4 June 1967, the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state, with its capital in East Jerusalem, as well as establishing a fair and agreed solution to the question of refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194, and providing security and peace to all states of the region.

We have called and continue to call on the Israelis to take this opportunity that provides for them the guarantee to live in peace with the peoples of the region. In that lies real security for them and their children, as well as for us and our children. Peace is what makes security, not military might or hegemony or geographic expansion. You cannot maintain peace by force, but only through understanding.

In East Jerusalem, the Palestinian population faces a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing, which includes the destruction of their homes, the expulsion of the population and the withdrawal of their identification papers, including the persecution of their elected representatives, with the aim of expelling them from their city. There are restrictions on their access to the holy sites and ongoing excavations threaten the foundations of those holy sites. In addition, the city is suffocated and isolated from its Palestinian environment through the belt of settlements and walls.

The forces of occupation continue their incursions into areas of the Palestinian National Authority through raids and arrests. Free rein has been given to the armed settler militias, which enjoy the special protection of the occupation army to carry out their attacks against the defenceless Palestinian population, targeting their homes, schools, mosques, fields, crops and trees. The strict blockade continues against the Gaza Strip, which is a form of collective punishment imposed on the innocent population. In addition, there are various attacks, including air raids, artillery shelling and assassinations, to complete the aims of the aggressive war against the Gaza Strip, which started three years ago and brought about huge destruction of life and property.

The occupation authorities hold in their prisons more than 6 000 Palestinian prisoners, including 21 representatives of the different parliamentary groups who declared only a few days ago a hunger strike in protest at the difficult and humiliating conditions that they live under. We want to see them free and among their families, just as Gilad Shalit’s family would like to see their son free and back in the hold of his family.

Despite all the Israeli obstacles, the Palestinian National Authority has in recent years worked to implement intensive programmes aimed at disseminating and strengthening a culture of peace, justice and democracy and to upgrade the preparedness of Palestinian institutions to meet the entitlements of independence. In accordance with the report prepared by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of donor countries and based on the evaluations of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations mission and the European Union mission, this programme has achieved full success in upgrading the performance of the Palestinian institutions to a higher level, which is necessary for running a successful state. The report confirms that Palestine has achieved, in this area, much more than many states that already enjoy full membership of the United Nations while we stand deprived of this right.

Based on these achievements, and in the light of increased suffering of our people under the occupation and in the light of the stalemate in the prospects for the negotiations, we have found no other way but to call on the international community to take a role in opening up new prospects for the peace process, by recognising the state of Palestine, along the borders of 4 June 1967 and to accept the state of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations. We confirm that, with this request, we do not aim to isolate or de-legitimise Israel; what we want is to gain legitimacy for our existence as a people with a right to self-determination like any other people in the world.

Our aim is to de-legitimise the occupation, settlement activities and apartheid policies. We underline that this step is not an alternative to negotiations, but a positive factor to prepare practical groundwork for a serious negotiation process that would be capable of bringing forth fruitful results. We underline our readiness to return to the negotiating table according to a clear frame of reference that is in compliance with international legitimacy and on the basis of a full halt of all settlement activities.

This explains our positive position on the latest Quartet statement, which reaffirmed the terms of reference for the peace process, especially the two-state principle on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, and reconfirmed the obligations of both parties under the road map – in particular to halt settlement activities. Israel’s compliance with these requests will open the way for a resumption of the peace process.

Today 128 member states of the United Nations have recognised the state of Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, and we are proud that 17 of them are Council of Europe member states. Palestine has advanced diplomatic relations with 24 other Council of Europe member States and many of these countries, especially those belonging to the European Union, have confirmed their willingness to recognise the state of Palestine at the appropriate time. That is all well, but we say to you in all sincerity: now is the appropriate time and we appreciate the resolution adopted recently by the European Parliament in this connection and call for it to be implemented.

We also very much appreciate and are proud of the resolution adopted by this august Parliamentary Assembly this Tuesday calling on the six Council of Europe member States which are members of the Security Council to support Palestine’s request to become a full member of the United Nations.

Europe has invested a great deal of effort and money in supporting the construction of Palestinian institutions and has given our people considerable support, which will always be remembered with gratitude and appreciation. Recognition of the state of Palestine and support for its bid to become a member of the United Nations are a means of protecting its achievements thanks to those efforts and that investment, and it is also a means of consolidating the position of Europe and its leading role in driving the peace process forward.

Today we are living in the era of the Arab Spring, and we can witness the courage of the Arab peoples, expressing their desire for freedom, democracy and social justice. We Palestinians have always been at the heart of the movement of Arab peoples aspiring to freedom, and we have always been committed to democratic traditions, respecting pluralism and the freedom of opinion and expression. This has long been a source of pride for us and a source of inspiration for our brothers from other Arab nations. Today, we are at the heart of the Arab Spring; we say that the hour of the Palestinian Spring has struck. If the essence of the Arab Spring was the people’s desire for freedom, then the essence of the Palestinian Spring is to become free of occupation and achieve freedom and independence, security and stability, and peace in the entire region.

The beginning of our spring was demonstrated by the wonderful sight of hundreds of thousands of people coming out on to the streets of the towns and villages of Palestine and in the diaspora, expressing in one voice their wish for Palestine to become state No. 194 of the United Nations. This movement has remained peaceful and civilised, despite many Israeli attempts at provocation. We today affirm our determination to maintain the peaceful nature of our movement, because we reject violence, and we reject terrorism in all its forms, especially state terrorism, and the terrorism of armed settlers. We shall disappoint them; we will not let them drive us towards extremism.

Our people will continue their peaceful resistance against the occupation and settlement activities and against the racist separation wall, providing in this way an inspiring model of the power of defenceless people to confront bullets, tear-gas bombs and bulldozers.

The world which celebrated the Arab Spring today stands before a test of its credibility: will this celebration stop at the borders of Palestine, or will it manage to overcome double standards and open its arms to embrace the Palestinian Spring? Will it allow Israel to remain a state above the law and above accountability? Will it be allowed to continue to reject the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly and the International Court of Justice and violate international law? Our people are waiting for the answer and part of this answer lies with you, ladies and gentlemen, the elected representatives of the people of Europe. Our people urge you to live up to your responsibilities.

In the midst of this relentless struggle for independence, we shall continue to exert every possible effort to build up our society, consolidate our democratic institutions, and get our domestic house in order. However, we shall strive to protect what has already been achieved in this regard and build on it.

We are particularly proud of the fact that in recent years we have been able to eradicate illiteracy almost totally in Palestine. Our people have helped build up many countries of the world; it is a people that venerates science, culture and creativity, and we have made major steps in extending the education infrastructure at all levels in our country: we now have 49 universities and institutes catering for 5% of the total population, and this work will be pursued so as to provide education opportunities for all our sons and daughters.

Thanks to the appreciated support we have received from the Arab and friendly countries, especially the countries of Europe, we have implemented a number of infrastructure projects, focusing in particular on developing health services and paying special attention to rural and marginalised areas. We have worked and shall continue to work on strengthening the judiciary, the rule of law and maintaining the security and dignity of our citizens.

We have made great strides in the field of women’s participation in public life and in decision-making bodies, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, and in local government institutions. In this connection, a long time ago we signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in order to achieve full equality between men and women.

We have developed a system for monitoring, accountability and administrative and financial reform with the aim of establishing transparency, integrity and good governance, striving to align ourselves with the highest international standards in this field.

In building up our national authority and laying the foundations of our future state, we have chosen the parliamentary democratic system, based on respect for pluralism, equality between citizens, women and men. We have opted for the rule of law, and protection of freedoms and human rights, and despite the difficulties and foreign intervention and restrictions of the occupation, we have resolved to pursue our commitment to the democratic option, to protect freedom of organisation and party and trade union work, to strengthen the role of civil society institutions, to protect freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of publishing and the press and to protect individual and collective freedoms.

Our success in signing the national reconciliation agreement in Cairo on 4 May last constituted a major step towards ending the divisions which had split the unity of our national institutions and had inflicted serious damage on our cause. The essence of this agreement is the formation of a transitional government from among independent national figures, which is preparing to run presidential, parliamentary and local elections by May 2012 at the latest. The reconciliation agreement is a positive achievement for the peace process and not the opposite, and is indispensable for protecting and strengthening Palestinian democracy.

What unites Palestinians and Europeans goes beyond links between geographical neighbours on the two shores of the Mediterranean, and goes further than mere trading relations or human interconnections or what has been the result of thousands of years of cultural interaction.

Above all, what unites us are the joint values to which our peoples are committed, the values of freedom, brotherhood, equality and justice between all human beings, which the peoples of Europe have championed for centuries, and for which today the Arab peoples, and first and foremost the Palestinians, are struggling.

We look with admiration at what Europe has achieved in the field of establishing the foundations of pluralist democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and we look forward to being able to benefit from your experience in this area, so as to develop our own fledgling democracy of which we are very proud. And we look with admiration at this ancient city of Strasbourg which was the site of conflict between the countries of Europe and has become today the centre of the institutions of a united Europe and support for peace.

And in this context, I cannot but express my pride at the partnership agreement which Salim al-Za’nun, Speaker of the Palestinian National Council, signed two days ago, which granted the National Council, the Parliament of the Palestinian people in the homeland and the diaspora, Partner for Democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. We are particularly proud that Palestine, after Morocco, is among the first Arab countries to be granted this status, which will have the most positive effect in strengthening the bonds of friendship and joint co-operation between our peoples and in encouraging the path towards democracy in our Arab region.

I would like to express to you the gratitude of the Palestinian people for the generous support they have received from the countries of Europe to help them build their economy and institutions, and we hope that this role will be strengthened still further through the political role played by Europe in promoting the peace process in our region. We have always stressed that we want our European friends to be players and not only payers.

United Nations Resolution 181 adopted in 1947 announced the setting up of two states. One state, Israel, has come into existence, but the other, Palestine, has not yet seen the light of day. We have come here to ask for this light for our state. This is our legitimate right guaranteed to us by international law. But this does not mean that it is a substitute for negotiations, rather it confirms the necessity of negotiations in order to reach a solution regarding borders, security, refugees, water, settlements, Jerusalem, freeing the prisoners, and also an end to the conflict in accordance with the substance of the Arab peace initiative, to ensure that Israel can live in an ocean of peace that includes all Arabs and Muslims.

We wish to live like other peoples, in freedom and dignity and we are not seeking to isolate anyone. We wish to protect both the Palestinian and Israeli people from this occupation and colonisation which are destroying the future of both peoples. They have to choose between colonisation and peace. We have chosen peace.

You supported the Arab Spring which was seeking democracy and freedom. Now the Palestinian Spring has arrived asking for freedom and an end to the occupation. We deserve your support. We place our trust in you and are confident that you will not abandon us and leave us all on our own.

We are depending on you. Thank you.


I remind dear colleagues that questions must be limited to 30 seconds. They should ask questions and not make speeches. I call Mr Pourgourides to speak on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party.


Dear President Abbas, the Group of the European People’s Party joins President Çavuşoğlu in extending to you a great welcome to this house of democracy. The Group of the European People’s Party strongly believes that without a fair, just and principled solution to the Palestinian issue, there can be no permanent peace in the Middle East. At the same time, we believe that achieving that solution would be greatly facilitated if there were full respect for the rule of law and human rights in the whole of Palestine. What further steps are you planning towards that end, including, of course, the permanent abolition of the death penalty?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that negotiation should be conducted on the basis of what the Quartet had decided. The abolition of the death penalty was among the top priorities of the Legislative Council, but it had not yet been convinced on the matter.


The next question is from Ms Err, on behalf of the Socialist Group.

Ms ERR (Luxembourg)

asked whether Mr Abbas could confirm if the two-state solution that everyone wanted would in fact be two democratic states where citizens of one would be welcomed by the other, and whether men and women would have equality in order to achieve a democracy.

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that they offered to Israel the establishment of two states that lived alongside each other in peace and stability. Once they had agreed to a two-state solution, 57 Arab states would then recognise the existence of Israel, according to the Arab peace initiative.


The next question is from Ms Brasseur, on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Ms BRASSEUR (Luxembourg)

welcomed the President to this house of democracy. She had two questions, the first was what practical steps could the Council of Europe take to be able to assist him? The second question was whether he was optimistic about the future of the people of Palestine and the people of Israel?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

answered the second question first and said that he was always optimistic about the future ability of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people to live alongside each other, with all the peoples of the Arab region. As for the first question, there were six members of the Council of Europe who were also members of the UN Security Council. He would like the Council to ask those countries to agree to vote with them. This was a very important request because then they would be able to overcome any obstacles at the UN Security Council. They already received aid and assistance from all European countries and he was thankful for that. What he needed now was political assistance in the Security Council. He required those six countries to recognise Palestine.


Thank you, Mr President. The next question is from Ms Bakir, on behalf of the European Democrat Group.

Ms BAKIR (Turkey)

Mr President, congratulations on your achievement in being granted Partner for Democracy status by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. What do you think about the future of your relations with Hamas? Some Hamas representatives have expressed their reservations about Palestine’s application for recognition in the United Nations. Do all groups in Palestine accept the policies put into practice at the UN by the Palestinian National Council?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that future relations with the Council had to evolve. They should benefit from the Council’s rich experience. In the context of the Arab Spring many Arab countries would have the opportunity to join the Council of Europe as well. In respect of Hamas, they had not given an official opinion on whether they were against or for it. Consultation was important, but if you supported one principle and you were not consulted, then you still supported that principle and asked for consultation in the future.


Thank you very much. The next question is from Mr Kox, on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left.

Mr KOX (Netherlands)

Mr President, this week we welcomed the Palestinian National Council as a Partner for Democracy with this Assembly, and I congratulate us and you on that. The Assembly also sent to member states of the United Nations Security Council a clear signal to support your bid for full UN membership. What can this Assembly and the European Parliament, which has sent the same signal, do to convince the Government and Parliament of Israel that accepting your bid for statehood and changing the situation in that way is not a danger but a chance for Israel? What can we do to persuade our Israeli friends to support your proposal?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that communication was very important. They maintained communications with the Israelis through official channels and through other parties to clarify that there was no contradiction between them going to the United Nations Security Council and achieving peace. It was very important for Israel to achieve peace with the Arab world. If the Council helped to clarify these issues with Israel, they would listen to the Council.

Mr SALLES (France)

welcomed Mr Abbas and highlighted that according to some of his statements at the United Nations a future Palestinian state would not include any Jews. Exclusion for religious reasons was contrary to the principles of the Council of Europe. Could he shed some light on to this issue? Was he seeking recognition from Hamas of the State of Israel and the denouncement of violence by Hamas? And was there any news on the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who had been in prison now for six years?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that up until now they had made efforts and they would continue to make efforts to release this soldier. He did not want any person to be incarcerated unnecessarily. He wanted the soldier to go back to his family in the same way as he wanted the 6 000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel to return to their families.

Ms ZOHRABYAN (Armenia)

asked what would be the status of Armenians in Jerusalem?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that East Jerusalem was the capital of the State of Palestine, West Jerusalem was the capital of the State of Israel and Jerusalem as a whole would be open to all religions. This was not an agreement, but an understanding.

Ms BOLDI (Italy)

said that for many years Gilad Shalit had been in prison and not even the Red Cross had had access to him. She asked Mr Abbas for a commitment on the Israeli soldier.

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that he did not like anybody to have their freedom restricted. There were now efforts to have a package deal between Hamas and Israel led by Egypt to release the Israeli soldier and for some Palestinian prisoners to be released. He supported such an agreement.

Mr CORLĂŢEAN (Romania)

Mr President, I, too, welcome you to our Assembly and congratulate you on the decision by our Assembly two days ago.

With reference to the decision by the Sub-Committee on the Middle East, which includes a valuable presence and contribution by both Palestinian and Israeli colleagues, I should like to ask about the future and the younger generation. What actions does the Palestinian authority envisage taking with the younger generation to intensify the promotion of the peaceful coexistence of the two states – a Palestinian State and Israel?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that the young generation had expressed their opinion when they stood up in unison on 15 March in the West Bank and Gaza and demanded an end to the internal schism and the occupation.

Mr GAUDI NAGY (Hungary)

Mr President, in the name of the freedom-loving people of Hungary, I can assure you that we will never abandon you in your freedom fighting. Freedom cannot be realised on occupied land – I absolutely agree with you.

When Israel was adopted as a UN member, the relevant resolution said, “Israel is a peace-loving state and is able and willing to carry out the obligations” in the UN Charter. Do you think that that has happened?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that Israel was supposed to be a peace-loving country. Resolution 181 announced the establishment of two states – the state of Israel and the state of Palestine. Unfortunately, in the passage of 63 years the state of Palestine should have been established alongside the state of Israel, but this had been restricted for many reasons. They were now extending their hand to Israel so they could live in peace and security in the context of two states. The answer was in their hands. This was an historic opportunity that they could not miss.


Mr President, Palestine is geographically and politically divided. Palestinian unification is important, and it must happen but, at the same time, international society must, as Norway did on its own in 2006, welcome and support such unification and a government. Would you comment on the unification process?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority

said that the coup d’état that happened in Gaza four years ago was behind the division of Palestine, politically and geographically. However, it was agreed that there would be a geographic passage between the West Bank and Gaza. If the safe passage was built then unity would return to Palestine once more.

Mr VRETTOS (Greece)

Mr President, with our decision on 3 October, you acquired a useful tool in your struggle to acquire statehood, freedom and independence. You are committed to applying commitments arising from the document that you signed. In Article 12 of Resolution 1830, there are 18 clauses that must be applied by your presidency. Can you tell us some more about that?

Mr Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority (interpretation)

said that they were ready to take up all the commitments and to implement them. He expressed gratitude for accepting them as partners. They were one of the countries in the world most committed to human rights, pluralism and democracy.


We must now conclude the questions to Mr Abbas. On behalf of the Assembly, I thank you most warmly for your communication and for the answers you have given to questions.