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Yasser Arafat [1929 - 2004]

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

13 April 1994

quoteThe peace of the brave needs your support and assistancequote

His speech:

On many occasions and in many regional and international forums 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 experi¬enced 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 exist¬ing between us. […]

Europe has a basic role in making peace and consolidating its founda¬tions 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 technol¬ogy transfer and in the activation of the economic process and joint co-operation. […]

Once again, from this rostrum, I would like to appeal to you who rep¬resent 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, which 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 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. […]

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.