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Numerous dignitaries of all nationalities and beliefs have been the honoured guests of the Council of Europe. These men and women, often instrumental in the implementation of political, social and cultural initiatives, illustrate the dynamism and values which, since the 1950s, have governed the work of the Council of Europe


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Yitzhak Rabin [1922 - 1995]

Prime Minister of Israel

28 January 1994

quoteThe road to peace crosses Europe - for without Europe, peace would remain incompletequote

His speech:

I come from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the city where the prophets proclaimed their visions of peace, to tell you that the Government of Israel knows that the eyes of many millions the world over look towards it in prayer, in great hope, and in the expectation of a new path, a new momentum. I come from Jerusalem to tell you that the Government of Israel yearns for peace and is willing to make peace.

I also want to tell you that we know that obstacles will arise, that crises might erupt and that we will face disappointment, tears and pain. But in the end, we shall arrive at peace. Supported by your blessings, concern and assistance we will do it. In the last decade of our twentieth century, walls of hatred have fallen, peoples have been liberated, and artificial barriers have disappeared; powers have crumbled and ideologies have collapsed. It is our sacred duty, to ourselves and to our children, to see the new world as it is now, to note its dangers, to explore its prospects, and to do everything possible so that the state of Israel will fit into the chang­ing face of this world. I think that in recent years the world has shrunk and no nation can solve its problems alone, and no country should think that it is isolated. Each nation should overcome those feelings and act in world and regional co-operation. We wish our region also to join the movement towards peace, recon­ciliation and co-operation that is spreading over the globe these days.

I have committed myself and my government to the present peace process and I have expressed on many occasions my hope that 1994 will be a year during which a peace agreement can be reached with our Arab neighbours. We believe with all our hearts that peace is pos­sible, that it is imperative, and that it will come. […] In short, Europe has the laborious task of bringing rivals from enmity to reconciliation, from boycott to acceptance. Europe has to add its input to consolidate peace in its real dimensions, open borders, free move­ment of goods and people: co-existence and co-operation. The road to peace crosses Europe - for without Europe, peace would remain incomplete.