Question of Palestine home
"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
23 April 2002
Message of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
AIPAC Policy Conference
April 23, 2002
I am optimistic about the future. Operation Defensive Shield has opened a window of opportunity to put the peace process back on a different, more realistic track.
Free from the threat of terrorism, we can reach the threshold of a new horizon - one where regional peace is within our grasp. I have proposed a regional peace conference to achieve this goal.
A regional peace conference, sponsored by the United States, can create the framework and modalities to bring about a cessation of hostilities. It can foster a coalition of countries committed to peace and able to contain the forces of terrorism and evil threatening our lives.
A regional peace conference will enable Israel to present its peace plan. This plan contains three phases:
A complete cessation of violence, hostilities, and especially incitement which leads to violent terrorist acts;
A long-term intermediate agreement, similar to an armistice; and finally
A permanent agreement, in which Israel's final borders and the Palestinians final borders, will be established, ending the conflict between us and the Palestinians, and the Arab countries. This must be based on Israel's right to exist in secure borders and provide for normalized relations with all countries in the region.