President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)

Speech made to the Assembly

Wednesday, 13 April 1994

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Council of Europe; greetings. On this occasion I would like to express to you my pleasure at meeting you and at the opportunity you are giving me to speak and to address this august body.

Allow me from this rostrum to convey to you the greetings of our Palestinian people and to express to you in their name, in the name of my brother members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and of the Palestine National Authority, our deepest thanks and appreciation for the continued support and solidarity given by this august Council to our people’s just struggle to achieve just, comprehensive and lasting peace in our area and in Palestine, the land of peace, love and tolerance.

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we are meeting you on a day – 13 April 1994 – on which the first results of the Declaration of Principles should have been realised, namely the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area as stipulated in the Declaration of Principles, which has received your support and that of the whole international community and all freedom, justice and peace-loving forces in the world. Eight months have passed since the signing of this agreement at the White House, between us and the Government of Israel, which was supposed to have been carried out and the Israeli withdrawal concluded.

The peace of the brave needs your support and assistance because we are currently passing through a dangerous turning point in which the process is standing still and where the opportunities for making progress and quick results are waning.

I was supposed to have come to you today from Jericho. I think this was on your mind when you extended the invitation to me to address your esteemed Council. Unfortunately, however, the hopes which we all had since signing the Declaration of Principles in Washington on 13 September 1993 did not materialise as had been agreed upon because of the Israeli reticence and hesitation in their commitments and implementation. Indeed, because of this delay, our people suffered from two major massacres, in Hebron and in Gaza, during which more than 90 martyrs and more than 800 injured fell. All this is at the expense of peace. Verily and frankly I say to you, had it not been for our interest in and commitment to peace, to our people and to the international community, the recent massacres were enough to destroy the whole peace process, because the delay in realising and implementing what we have agreed upon in the White House on 13 September 1993, has allowed all the extremists to make this feverish and grave escalation, as has happened recently in Afula, which was perpetrated by Palestinian extremists. These operations, regrettably, are targeted at the innocent Palestinian and Israeli peoples and at jeopardising the peace process. When I arrived today, I was surprised to learn that another operation had been carried out against innocent Israelis. I do not yet know who carried it out.

For our part, we have, since the start of the peace process in Madrid in October 1991, facilitated and pushed forward the peace process and shown the necessary flexibility, the patience and the commitment to the peace process, out of our belief in and desire for just peace, a peace which should end the long decades of war and bloody conflicts in our area and which should provide security, stability and peace to the peoples and states of the region. In conformity with the new spirit of peace, and the steps resulting therefrom, and in order to support the confidence-building measures and modes of cooperation, we have, since signing the declaration, established a number of national institutions in order to play their role in building the Palestinian civic and democratic liberal society and consolidate the foundations of real peace and co-operation among the peoples of the region.

Allow me, Mr President, to point out here, that we expected, and indeed, we hoped, that the government of Israel which came as a result of its declared election programme to realise peace, will adopt the necessary and required steps to rebuild confidence between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples and close the chapter of military occupation with all that it entails in terms of violations to human achievements, international conventions and agreements and the resolutions of the United Nations. We have hopes as well, Mr President, that the Government of Israel will work to make peace and not only adopt measures which will guarantee living in peace because no one can live in peace if this peace is not achieved on all levels and in all fields.

The experience of the past eight months since signing the Declaration of Principles in Washington was frustrating and discouraging because the Government of Israel continued its policy of mass killings, detention, imposing curfews and isolating towns – especially the city of Jerusalem – confiscating land, and continued the economic siege, supporting and encouraging the fanatic settlers to continue practising the most horrible acts of killing and aggression against the lives, freedoms and properties of the Palestinian people. Those acts made it possible for the Israeli armed settlers with whom certain units of the Israeli army connived to perpetrate the heinous massacre in the town of Hebron in its most sacred mosque and safest shrine where the righteous victims fell. This is similar to the situation faced by our brothers in Algeria from the secret organisations in the French army (OAS) in collaboration with the French settlers. This massacre was followed by the bloody events by which the Government of Israel punished the innocent Palestinian people with killing, detention, curfews and an economic and commercial siedge. In addition, there were regrettable reactions, which we reject, from Palestinian extremists against Israeli citizens as has happened in Afula.

What happened in Hebron, and before that in the Holy A1 Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and in Bethlehem, Gaza, Nablus and in other places, is a result of deliberate negligence and abominable connivance between certain units of the Israeli army and the extremist, fanatic and racist settlers whose coming from their original countries was facilitated by the Government of Israel which contributed to their training, arming and financing and encouraged them to settle on the Palestinian land and in the midst of Palestinian towns so much so that they have become a second army of occupation and armed gangs that do not abide by law or rules and are protected by the guns of the soldiers of occupation. This has become very clear from the results of the investigation made by the Israeli judicial authorities.

Mr President, the Israeli Government had taken steps to impose collective economic punishment on the Palestinian people. As the result of a decision taken two days ago, 150 000 Palestinian workers would be denied jobs for the next six months and their families would thus have no chance of a decent life. This decision was taken at the very same time that negotiations were going on over greater cooperation in the economic field.

The Israeli settlements have always been, as the international community has come totally to recognise, a major obstacle on the road to peace. Today, and I say it with regret, they have become an alternative to peace. Peace cannot be achieved, despite our full commitment to it, interest in realising it and our work to arrive at it, as long as these extremist hotbeds lie at every turn of the road threatening the peace process as a whole and exposing the life, future and security of our people to grave dangers. This issue, the issue of settlers and settlements, has to be treated thoroughly now in order to protect the peace process, which is witnessing presently an historic opportunity, that might not recur. This opportunity should not be sacrificed for short-term political gains and for purely domestic calculations, because all, especially the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, will pay a heavy price for it.

Mr President, I reiterate in front of your august Council the commitment of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestine National Authority to peace and to the peace process; and I reiterate, as well, that the peace we are seeking, is the just, permanent and comprehensive peace which will achieve security, stability and tranquillity for all the peoples of the region and which guarantees ending the occupation and enabling the Palestinian people to live in their homeland in sovereignty and freedom, a peace where, in order to be achieved, all agreements, commitments and agendas are totally and sincerely respected. Any delay, procrastination, reluctance and manoeuvring, will reflect negatively on all of us, jeopardising the issue of peace, weakening the camp of its supporters and pushing our area into a whirlpool of total confusion, destruction and balkanisation. With great responsibility and with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness I warn, Mr President, that leaving things to move as they did last September will lead us all to a catastrophe which will kill any remaining hope, confidence and credibility our Palestinian people, our Arab nation and the peace lovers might still have in the peace process itself and in the capability, sincerity and seriousness of the international community to help in realising and implementing peace.

The European countries have played, on the basis of their understanding of the continuous plight and sufferings of our people, an active and outstanding role in the international efforts for the adoption of Security Council Resolution 904, to provide international protection to our people as well as in the continued efforts to revive the peace process, and in the call to implement the Declaration of Principles signed between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation on 13 September 1993 at the White House in Washington.

Now that this resolution has been adopted, we look forward to you and to the whole international community exerting all your efforts for the quick implementation of its articles especially those pertaining to providing international protection to our Palestinian people in Hebron and in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories; and for the implementation of what we agreed upon two weeks ago in Cairo; and to make this experience succeed by spreading it to the other towns and villages of Palestine in order to ensure a steady start of the final stage and to prevent more victims from falling during the transitional period.

Translating the articles of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 904 on the ground, carrying out sincerely the agreements with the Government of Israel, will bring tranquillity to the hearts of our people and will foster their confidence and their feeling of security. This will make them move forward in supporting the peace process in order to achieve the yearned’ for just peace.

On many occasions and in many regional and international fora as well as in my visits to various European capitals I have talked and exchanged ideas and views on the urgent and necessary need to start building the Palestinian national economy and the institutions of the Palestine National Authority, emphasising that we will start from scratch the process of development and reconstruction of infrastructure and other vital institutions. The scope of the destruction and problems experienced by our people as a result of the long years of Israeli occupation require that we start immediately the process of building. This puts on the shoulders of the Palestine National Authority great responsibilities and challenges in repairing the damage and destruction caused by this long and bitter occupation to the Palestinian economy and to the social network of our people. For the Palestine National Authority to be able to deal successfully with these challenges it is necessary to enable the Palestine National Authority to bear the responsibility of receiving and carrying out, directing, investing and disbursing international assistance and support, in a manner which guarantees changing the painful situation in which our people live, so as to improve their standard of living and to solve the many economic social, health and educational problems building up in front of our institutions. What we are looking for and desire is to achieve this international support through the collective and bilateral co-operation emanating from and based on the relations existing between us.

Developing and supporting these relations will give us more freedom of movement and flexibility to face the many problems which obstruct the wheel of building and construction as we wish it or desire it to be. It is no secret that our people have many human capabilities which have played an active role in building many forms of progress and construction in the Arab orient and the Arab countries. Our people will be able to continue their creative activities and will put all their capabilities into building our civic and democratic society, our free economy and our integrated social institutions, which will form the foundations for peace, co-existence and future cooperation in the area. Our people are able to carry out the operations of building and reconstruction under the best technical and legal terms and in a manner characterised by transparency, seriousness and efficiency under a democratic parliamentary system based on the foundations of freedom of opinion and the freedom to form political parties, a system in which the majority safeguards the rights of the minority and where the minority respects the decisions of the majority. It will be a system based on social justice and equality without discrimination on the basis of race, creed, colour or sex and within the framework of a constitution that ensures the sovereignty of law and an independent judiciary. This is in full conformity with Palestine’s spiritual and cultural heritage of tolerance and peaceful coexistence with other religions over centuries.

We are talking frankly with you about our concerns and as is the habit in our distinguished relations with you, so that you will participate with us in building the future and in avoiding the frustrations which will have negative repercussions on the whole peace process as a result of the mechanism of providing the required assistance. Therefore, I appeal to you to adopt an urgent decision to give us appropriate financial help as a grant or loan, to be put at the disposal of the Palestine National Authority to enable it to meet the needs of the Palestinians – we are starting from scratch, all the infrastructure is damaged or destroyed – and to cover the expenses of consolidating the foundations of the Palestine National Authority, its institutions and structure.

Europe has a basic role in making peace and consolidating its foundations in the area as well as in the process of development in its wider context, whether through governmental support or the development of the private sector, to which we give great attention in all our schemes, projects and contacts, out of our belief in and conviction of its importance and in its great capabilities to create job opportunities, in technology transfer and in the activation of the economic process and joint co-operation.

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, as you see we live in an age where distances have been shrinking due to the huge scientific and technological revolution that has taken place through the last quarter of this century, and which ushers us into the future with all its challenges. Despite all the injustice, oppression and suffering caused to our people, they possess capabilities, energies and creative abilities which enable them to face the needs and challenges of the coming phase filled with self-confidence and the will to contribute not only to building and developing their own society, but also to contribute to the building, progress and prosperity of the Middle East region and human civilisation. This will foster and consolidate the foundations of security and peace in this important and sensitive region of the world.

We call upon all to contribute to the building of this future, which will guarantee our generation and future generations peace, security and a better life. We look forward to your support and assistance in closing the chapter of the past, of pain and disaster and to open a new chapter of peaceful co-existence, understanding and co-operation, and the resolution of conflicts by peaceful means, dialogue and arbitration.

Once again, from this rostrum, I would like to appeal to you who represent Europe, the neighbour of the Middle East, to help us to save the peace process, to save the hope in our souls. I appeal to you to help us in safeguarding the peace process and in implementing what we have agreed upon and signed – we and the Government of Israel – namely the declaration of peace of Washington, what we have signed and agreed upon in Oslo, Davos, Paris and Cairo and the annexes related to it. These agreements remain until now unimplemented, despite the fact that the fixed and agreed dates for their implementation have elapsed. This is a grave and fundamental issue not only for the Middle East but for the whole world. The peace of the brave needs your support and assistance because we currently pass through a dangerous turning point in which the process is standing still and where the opportunities for making progress and quick results are waning. Indeed, we need your efforts and endeavours to implement what we have agreed on paper and to transform that into tangible realities on the ground, so as not to give the extremists on both sides the opportunity to destroy or delay the process – for the sake of our children and their children – towards a new Middle East where peoples and nations co-exist in brotherhood and constructive peaceful co-existence, leaving behind the sufferings of the past and its repercussions; a new Middle East based on love, goodness and the bright hope for a real peace in the land of peace, the holy land of Palestine, the cradle of the three divine religions.

No voice should be above the voice of peace and no interest should be more precious than the interest of peace. No effort should be spared in order to achieve peace.

A huge historic responsibility falls on all of us. I call upon God Almighty to guide us and to help us and to give us wisdom, resolution and patience to bear such responsibility to achieve peace – the peace of the brave – and consolidate it.

Finally, I express to you my appreciation and thanks for giving me this good opportunity to address your august body.

Thank you.


Thank you, Mr President. We have 35 minutes to deal with 41 questions, so I beg colleagues to make their questions extremely brief. I also ask President Arafat to make a great effort to respond briefly so that he can answer the maximum number of questions. I shall call Mr Colombo from Italy to ask the first question and Mr de Lipkowski from France to ask the second one.

Mr COLOMBO (Italy) (interpretation)

observed that everyone wanted peace but that the peace process was endangered by extremists on both sides. What power could be exercised immediately by Mr Arafat and the PLO as regards extremists of PLO or Palestinian origin?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said that he could not shoulder responsibility. Authority rested with others. The escalation had taken place during the phase when those agreements were to have been implemented, but were not. The dates agreed upon continued to pass. That had enabled extremists on the other side to carry out a number of massacres. It was the delay that had given Palestinian extremists the opportunity to have reason to act.

Mr DE LIPKOWSKI (France) (translation)

Mr Arafat, I should like to pay tribute to the very courageous efforts that you are making for peace. We have all been very touched by your outstandingly tolerant and moderate appeal for peace, condemning all extremism and affirming your democratic beliefs.

Although the 13 April deadline has not been complied with, I read this morning in the newspapers that you had reached agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian police force 9 000 strong. When do you think this Palestinian force will be deployed and the Israeli army withdraw?

Despite the welcome progress, the settlements situated in Gaza and the West Bank threaten to be the source of further bloody incidents, causing the very escalation of general extremist violence, which you have so wisely condemned. Do you think it will be possible to envisage moving some of the settlers away from main centres like Hebron and Nablus pending the Israeli withdrawal?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said it was important to put into practice what had been agreed. In Hebron 42 secular families were constraining the everyday life of 120 000 Palestinian inhabitants. Mr Rabin himself had declared he opposed the continued presence of settlers in the area. Although there had been a ceasefire in the area since the Hebron massacre, he did think it wrong that this situation prevailed. He had suggested that the settlers be relocated on the outskirts of Hebron with 5 000 others who already lived there. In the Gaza Strip, an area of 360 km2, 1 000 settlers were having an adverse effect on 1 000 000 inhabitants. He questioned whether that was a reasonable situation. Furthermore, new settlements had been set up since the conclusion of the agreement.

Mr COLUMBERG (Switzerland) (translation)

Mr Arafat, I should like to thank you for your convincing remarks and for your commitment to peace. We recently had the possibility of visiting the Middle East with Mr Columbo and learnt that there are two groups within the Palestinian people, those who live on the spot and those who live abroad.

Is the leadership also accepted by local Palestinians? Because, in my opinion, it is very important that co-operation should function properly and that there should be no additional, internal, difficulties in the way of this important process.

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

replied that at the last municipal elections, of the 116 delegates elected, 96 came from the PLO list. He saw no difference between Palestinian people wherever they lived: they were a single entity. The same principle held for the PLO delegations.

Mr GJELLEROD (Denmark)

Mr Arafat, anyone who has visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip will have seen for himself that the situation is not a durable one. I was there two years ago. It was, and still is, a desperate situation.

How do you intend to meet the challenge of developing the functioning of democracy during the transitional period? Is that possible? To put it another way, is the PLO able to play a role during the transitional process similar to that of the ANC in South Africa? The important role and work of the ANC has led to the coming elections, which we all sincerely hope will be free and fair.

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said that the agreement with Israel stipulated that elections should be held four months after Israeli withdrawal. He invited the Council of Europe’s Assembly to participate in the arrangements for those elections. At a recent meeting with representatives of the European Union the same issue had been discussed. In all truth, the PLO had helped to nourish democracy by its own revolution. It was now a matter of pride to ensure that elections went ahead.

Mr SOLE TURA (Spain)

The Mediterranean region is becoming one of the most problematic and dangerous regions in the world. There are too many conflicts, often involving borders, and there are many other potential sources of new conflict from all points of view – demographic, social, economic, religious and military.

The current talks and negotiations between the Israeli Government and the PLO gives us all hope, but some important questions remain open. There are two possibilities – first, that your agreements will help to provide a better political and social climate in the whole Mediterranean area; secondly, that new local and regional divisions and tensions will develop on both borders. Reactions to your agreement policy have been, and still are, very different – even contradictory.

My question is this: what, in your opinion, will be the impact of the PLO-Israeli agreements on the overall development of peace in the Mediterranean area?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said that the peace process in Palestine, which he referred to as the Holy Land, was being hindered by extremists. The conclusion of an agreement would benefit the whole region and would deny extremists the justification of their efforts.


Thank you very much for your balanced and two-sided speech, Mr Arafat. I have a short question to ask you, concerning the future and asking for a little prophecy, which we need. What basis do you foresee for your future relations with Israel once the state of Palestine has been formed?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

answered that the National Council in 1988 had adopted a decision in Algeria that UN Security Council Resolution 242 be accepted and that a Palestinian state be established. That would include two states and a new Middle East in which all nations and peoples could co-exist.

After the war, he said, some sort of mini-Marshall Plan would be needed in the area.

Mr ANTRETTER (Germany) (translation)

My question to Mr Arafat has already been answered by his replies to other questions. However, I should be grateful, Mr President, if the Assembly’s spokeswoman on the Middle East, Mrs Baarveld-Schlaman, could ask a question in my place as she may otherwise be unable to have her turn.

Mr Psaila SAVONA (Malta) (interpretation)

declined to ask his question, as it had already been answered.

Mr ALEXANDER (United Kingdom)

Under the declaration of principles to which you agreed in September last year the West Bank and Gaza were defined as a single territorial unit. Does the continuation of settlements undermine that concept and, particularly after the Hebron massacre, is it your opinion that the settlers must go before you will sign a final agreement?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

pointed out that the settlements were one of the four areas covered by the agreement, and that progress on the issue had therefore been held up. He maintained that there must be no further settlements, nor any extension to existing ones. He noted that new settlements were still being created; for instance 470 new housing units had just been built near Jerusalem. He reiterated his belief that the agreement must continue.


I do not have a question for you, Mr Arafat, but an offer, made as a consequence of the resolution adopted by the Assembly in September last year. I am aware that you know that this Assembly cannot offer money, but you will take the message home, Mr Arafat, that, as a result of the resolution adopted on 29 September we can not only monitor your elections, but help to organise them? After those elections have been held, and as a result of our resolution, please invite elected persons and staff of your administration to come to Strasbourg where they will be able to gain information about what is necessary for the good development of legislative and municipal administrations.

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)

Thank you for that offer.


The former United States President, George Bush, described the developments in central and eastern Europe in 1989, in the Soviet Union in 1990 and in the Persian Gulf as a result of the Kuwaiti crisis as the new world order. Some critics have suggested, however, that a more apt description is a new world disorder. What is your evaluation of the international situation, Mr Arafat, and to what extent do you think that it will help you to pursue the goals of the Palestinian people?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said that the end of the first and second world wars had both led to new world orders and the end of the third world war would do likewise. He requested any delegates who had power over such matters to do all they could to ensure that this order was a positive one.

Mr RODRIGUES (Portugal) (translation)

Mr Arafat, please accept my acknowledgement of your people’s epic and tragic struggle.

My question is: have the implosion of the Soviet Union and the change from a dual-focus to a single focus world harmed the peace process in the Middle East and the cause of the Palestinian people in general?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

responded by saying that only history could judge whether those changes were beneficial to particular peoples. He pointed out that the injustices of the settlements of the first and second world wars had themselves led to subsequent wars.

Mr GHALANOS (Cyprus)

I too would like to pay tribute to President Arafat for his great and brave efforts to achieve peace. I expect a concrete answer to my question. How far is your administration committed to and able to promote peace and use its influence towards implementing the agreement already reached?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said that he could not understand how Palestinians could starve while money and arms poured into Israel. Further, he could not understand why Israel needed those arms when it was negotiating peace.

He had asked the USA and Russia to fulfil their responsibilities. He had personally begged the USA on his knees to put observers on the ground, but they refused. Other countries were therefore reluctant to become involved. The European Union was represented solely by Denmark and Italy. He felt it was not for him to put pressure on Israel, but for the cosponsors. Instead, the co-sponsors seemed to be putting pressure on him.

Mr PAVLIDES (Greece)

I congratulate President Arafat on the attitude that he has expressed with regard to terrorist actions, wherever they originate. What is your attitude to those who maintain occupying forces in other countries? As I understand it, the Israelis have today pulled out of Gaza and Jericho. What are your plans for the completion of the peace process?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said he believed that an international force must come to the region. The responsibilities of a Palestinian authority were not yet clear and no opportunity had been presented to establish institutions.

Mr KELAM (Estonia)

One can only admire your efforts, Mr Arafat, to bring about a peaceful settlement in the Middle East. Such a settlement provides for the elimination of terrorism. Unfortunately, one extremist recently crashed his bomb laden car into a bus, and many innocent victims lost their lives. The PLO expressed its regret, but did not condemn the attack.

Would it not be helpful if all parties to the talks clearly expressed their position on such acts of violence?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said he could add nothing to his condemnations earlier.

Mrs HOLAND (Norway)

Mr Arafat has described certain tragic setbacks to the peace process, but as we must always be hopeful and optimistic I must ask him two simple questions. What is a realistic timetable for the implementation of the agreement on a temporary foreign presence in Hebron, and when does he think the PLO headquarters will move out of Tunis?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said that both matters were decisions that President Rabin would make.

Mr SPACEK (Czech Republic)

During the peace negotiations, PLO representatives agreed to delete from the Palestinian national charter articles that were incompatible with the peace negotiations – for instance, Article 9, in which the armed struggle is defined as a general strategy for the Palestinians; Article 20, according to which the Jews do not form a nation; and Article 22, which describes Israel as a base for international imperialism. There were several other articles in the same vein.

When may we expect the PLO National Congress to change the charter?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said that that could not occur democratically until the Israeli authorities permitted the establishment of a Palestinian assembly in Palestine.


In your vision of an independent Palestinian state, Mr Arafat, what kind of close regional co-operation do you foresee for the area, and what countries will be included in it?

Secondly, are you not concerned about the negative attitude displayed by fundamentalist Muslims to the security of the Israelis?

Mr Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation)

said that the lack of a ratified agreement could only give encouragement to terrorists. What was needed was a form of Marshall Plan, under which relations with all other countries would be strengthened. He anticipated the setting up of a parliament of the whole of the Middle East.


Thank you Mr Arafat. Thank you all very much. I know that 20 of our colleagues will feel very frustrated, but at least 21 of them have been satisfied. We cannot stretch the time out any further, unfortunately.

This has been an important debate nevertheless.