Below is the transcript of Mr Major’s speech made on 14th March 1995 in the presence of Chairman Arafat.
Chairman Arafat, distinguished guests.
We have a saying in Britain that a week is a long time in politics. I have no doubt that that is as true here as it is in London. But if a week is a long time, then how to measure thirteen years? For that is the time since my last visit to the Occupied Territories.
Little could I foresee, back in 1982, the huge changes in your circumstances -
The future is uncertain, and the path ahead strewn with potential pitfalls. But the goal of a lasting and peaceful settlement continues to provide hope to all the peoples of the region. Its single-
But I am sure that in choosing to seek a permanent peace, you have chosen well. Britain will fully support your efforts in that direction. We want to see peace established on the basis of Security Council Resolutions. We believe that it can only be achieved by direct negotiations between the parties, with the support of the international community. We especially value, as I know you do, the active encouragement of President Mubarak.
The first requirement is to implement the Declaration of Principles: to press on with re-
Indeed, it remains crucial to intensify efforts against those resorting to violence. A lasting peace requires security -
The Declaration of Principles also stipulates that a number of crucial issues, including settlements and the status of Jerusalem, should be reversed for the final status negotiations. Meanwhile, the status quo should be respected, and nothing be done by either party to seek unilateral advantage. It is most important that that principle should be upheld.
But it is essential that while the negotiations continue, people should see improvements in their daily life. This will be very important in sustaining popular support for the peace process without which it is far less likely to succeed. I hope that the recent progress in your talks with the Israelis will, for example, lead to easier movement from Gaza to the West Bank.
Beyond these political issues, however, it is perhaps in the economic field that the international community can contribute most. The Norwegian Government have worked especially hard to co-
But the European Union remains by some way the major donor. The Union is providing 580 million dollars of new aid. We are establishing a Know-
One such example involves co-
This morning I handed over fifty vehicles to the Palestinian police, who, as you know Mr. Chairman, have been a particular focus for Britain's bilateral aid. This follows our substantial contribution last year towards police salaries, and our provision of management and other training for you officers.
As I have said, the maintenance of security is an essential pre-
Aid can never be the whole story though. Britain's experience is that prosperity springs from private enterprise. That is why I welcome the policies for a free market which your Administration have adopted. What Palestinian businessmen need now is opportunity.
So I am especially glad to have with me today a very powerful trade delegation. They stand ready to help in developing your private sector. I am sure that the discussions with their Palestinian counterparts this morning have thrown up some really useful pointers; and I am glad that there will be opportunities to pursue these individually this afternoon.
Mr. Chairman, the Palestinian people have suffered much for too many years. I recognise the scale of the problems that still confront you. But you have taken a decisive and courageous step. We in the United Kingdom offer full support to the peaceful search for a lasting settlement for your people.