Address by H.E. President Mahmoud Abbas During the Swearing-in of the Transitional National Consensus Government

June 02, 2014

I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah on the formation of the new government. May God help you in carrying out this task.

The significance of this government is that we ended the division. On the path towards national reconciliation, this is a fundamental step. We faced tremendous difficulties, but we have managed to overcome them. I hope that the ministers will be able to fulfil their duties. It is an exceptional and difficult phase but we are facing the challenges and, with God’s will, we are overcoming them.

This government will continue on the path the previous governments and follow the priorities and principles of the previous agreements, including building Palestinian civil society institutions, accountability, rule of law, as well as respecting international law. We must maintain these basic principles and continue to implement the policies of the previous governments.

The government is committed to the principle of the two-states on the border of 1967. The government is also committed to recognizing the State of Israel, renouncing violence, and honoring the signed agreements, including the Quartet principles. As we have stated in the past, we will continue with security coordination with Israel as this protects or people’s interests. From the start, we have wanted to protect our people’s interests. Security coordination comes in this context.

We are committed to peaceful popular resistance as well as peaceful demonstrations. Such actions are Palestinian leadership decisions that we are committed to. These actions are a civilized way of expressing our positions. 

The Israeli government continues to carry out a whole host of measures, and our people need to be able to express their rejection of such measures in a peaceful and popular way.

We are also committed to negotiations, which we know is the path that provides the surest and best way that we to achieve our rights.

The government is tasked with facilitating the elections. We have agreed that the elections will be held within 6 months. Within a day or two, we will send a letter addressed to you and to the Central Election Commission to prepare for the elections. The election date will be agreed upon with the Central Election Commission but will not exceed 6 months.

The negotiations are the responsibility of the PLO, which will continue to carry on this work. The government will be informed and regularly updated on the progress of the negotiations between us and Israel.

The situation between us and the Israelis is currently stalled. We did not stop or disrupt the negotiations. On the contrary, we want to continue negotiations and we have said more than once that in order to resume negotiations for a period of another 9 months, Israel must release the 30 prisoners that were agreed upon. We agreed that the prisoners will be released in four groups, of which only three were released. We are still awaiting the release of the fourth group. If we want to resume negotiations, Israel should release the fourth group.

If the negotiations are renewed for another 9 months, the rst 3 months should focus on borders. ere are six permanent status issues, of which borders are most prominent. We need to focus on that so we can know where our borders will be. is should not require more than 3 months. During the period of negotiations on borders, Israel must stop settlements. e other issues will be negotiated, but the focus will be on borders.

is is our position. We have conveyed it to the Israeli government, Europe, the United States and all the countries concerned about the political process. In addition, the Arab countries support our position through the Arab Follow-Up Committee. is will continue to be our position.

We will not initiate any action which may be understood as being against any party. However, we will not be silent while we are being attacked. We will respond. ere will be no surprises in what we do. We have spoken openly and transparently to all the concerned parties.

We hope to be treated equally until we achieve the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, the capital of which is, without a doubt, East Jerusalem. Our land is occupied. And we have a decision from the General Assembly arming that we are a state under occupation. Th­is includes Jerusalem. We are committed to this resolution. When the State of Palestine is established, it will be alongside the State of Israel, living side by side in security and stability.

I wish you success and I hope that we will get through this stage to reach reconciliation and the political solution so that our people can be happy and celebrate.

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