|Statement on Palestinian Elections|
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
Via Digital Videoconference
January 26, 2006
(9:05 a.m. EST)
Well, thank you very much. Thank you for the very probing question and I want to thank the members of this distinguished panel. There are old friends on this panel, people for whom I -- I've known for years. I want to thank Klaus Schwab for making this opportunity available.
And I would like very much to turn to the question just asked, but if you will permit me, I would like to start with a statement on something that I think is very much on all of our minds this morning because I'm certain that people will have seen the preliminary results of the Palestinian elections. We're going to be talking about democracy in this session and I'd like to begin by making a statement on those elections before turning to the question asked of me.
While we await the confirmation of those final results from the Palestinian elections, we've seen the predictions regarding the Palestinian Legislative Council elections. We offer our congratulations to President Abbas and the Palestinian people on an election process that was peaceful and free of violence and, by all accounts, fair and where there was very heavy turnout of the Palestinian population.
The Palestinian people have apparently voted for change, but we believe that their aspirations for peace and a peaceful life remain unchanged. Those aspirations can only be met through a two-state solution, which requires a renunciation of violence and turning away from terrorism and accepting the right of Israel to exist and the disarmament of militias. As we have said, you cannot have one foot in politics and the other in terror. Our position on Hamas has therefore not changed.
I have spoken to President Abbas today, who was elected by the Palestinian people on a platform of peace. The Palestinians have a constitutional process that they will now follow and we ask all parties to respect this process so that it can unfold in an atmosphere of calm and security.
I've also spoken to Secretary General Annan, to Foreign Minister Livni of Israel and to others to share views on the way forward. There will soon be a meeting of the Quartet that is devoted to the roadmap and to Middle East peace.
Thank you for allowing me to make that statement.