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18 March 2002

Cheney Says U.S. Goal is Clear: End Terror and Violence

(Says Israelis and Palestinians "deserve a better future") (1610)
Vice President Dick Cheney said the U.S. has a clear goal "to end the
terror and violence" plaguing Israelis and Palestinians.
Speaking in Jerusalem March 18 with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon, Cheney said both peoples have "suffered mightily," and that
Special Envoy Anthony Zinni's return to the region was evidence of
American determination to help both sides achieve peace.
"Both peoples deserve a better future, one in which they can live and
work and play in safety and security, as good neighbors without fear
that they risk their children's lives simply by allowing them to go to
a disco, or a pizzeria, or by sending them to a school," said Cheney.
Cheney called upon Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to "renounce once
and for all, the use of violence as a political weapon and to exert a
one-hundred percent effort to stamp out terrorism" in order to create
an atmosphere conducive to achieving "the legitimate aspirations of
the Palestinian people, to live safely and in dignity in their own
state alongside Israel."
"In that same spirit, I will be talking to Prime Minister Sharon about
the steps that Israel can take to alleviate the devastating economic
hardship being experienced by innocent Palestinian men, women and
children," said Cheney.
Cheney said the United States sought to convey to both sides the
message that peace "is not only possible, but necessary," and urged a
return to a political process to end the conflict based upon the
principle of land for peace.
Following is a transcript of Vice President Dick Cheney and Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
(begin transcript)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Press Office (Jerusalem) For Immediate Release March 18, 2002
ARRIVAL STATEMENTS BY ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER ARIEL SHARON AND VICE
PRESIDENT RICHARD CHENEY
Prime Minister's Office Jerusalem March 18, 2002
PRIME MINISTER SHARON: My friend, Vice President of the United States
of America, welcome to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people and
the united and undivided capital of the State of Israel.
It was approximately six months ago, at the World Trade Center in New
York and at the Pentagon, that the clock of history stopped still.
Nothing will ever be the same again.
I take this opportunity, on behalf of the people of Israel and on my
own behalf, to express our gratitude and appreciation to President
Bush, to you Mr. Vice President, and to the entire American
Administration for raising the banner of war against terrorism as a
most important and supreme value.
In this war, Mr. Vice President, you are not alone. This war was
forced upon the entire free, enlightened, and democratic world. This
is a war between a civilization, which sanctifies the value of life
and the pursuit of a better future, and those who glorify death and
destruction and seek to drag humanity into the abyss of despair and
desperation.
Mr. Vice President, terrorism is terrorism wherever it may be, there
is no good terrorism or bad terrorism. True or imagined injustice
cannot serve as an excuse for the murder of innocent civilians. You
cannot remain neutral in this struggle. Those who stand aloof and do
nothing to prevent it become partners of terrorist forces and cannot
decline responsibility and wash their hands off it.
In recent months we have been in the midst of a brutal wave of
terrorist attacks aimed at innocent people, civilians at coffee shops
and discotheques, youth, babies, entire families that fall prey and
are targeted by the Palestinian terrorism. A terror which knows no
mercy, therefore the terrorists, their dispatchers and those who
sponsor them should not enjoy immunity or refuge. This is what I have
to say in this respect.
This is the only way to make them understand what terror really is.
Mr. Vice President, just now the funeral of an 18 year-old schoolgirl
has been -- she was just brought to her burial-place. And this is
something which accompanies us every day.
Israel, Mr. Vice President, is a peace-seeking nation, and we are
making every effort to reach an immediate cease-fire and cessation of
terrorism to begin the implementation of the Tenet Plan. I have in the
past declared that in order to achieve a true, just and durable peace,
I would be willing to make painful compromise, but we cannot make any
compromise when it comes to the security of our citizens and their
right to live without the threat of terrorism and violence.
Mr. Vice President, in the past 100 years, and mainly since it gained
independence 54 years ago, Israel has had remarkable achievements in
every area, and this can serve as an indication of what could be done,
what we could contribute to our nation and to the region in general
when peace is finally achieved. That peace, we are all yearning for.
The peace which with God's help we will achieve .
Mr. Vice President, I want to thank you for your personal friendship
and for standing by the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Your
visit to this region at this time is important to all those who are
seeking peace. I believe that together, with determination, we will be
able to eliminate terrorism and restore freedom and a hope for peace
for our children and all the peoples of the region. Israel will
continue to stand by the United States and assist in the battle for
the defense of our common values and way of life.
Sir, I would like you to know that you are here among friends. This is
a friendship that will be permanent.
Thank you very much.
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. I am
delighted once again to be back in Israel and I appreciate the warm
welcome.
I have been looking forward to this return visit and especially
meeting once again with my old friends, Prime Minister Sharon and with
President Katsav.
This is the tenth country I visited in the region this week. I have
made this journey on behalf of President Bush, to confer with regional
leaders on issues of great importance, especially our cooperative
efforts in fighting terrorism and in our determination to promote
Arab-Israeli peace and reconciliation.
We are also conferring about other challenges to regional security and
the threat posed to all of us by weapons of mass destruction and the
relentless efforts of the world's most dangerous regimes to acquire
them. I come as well to reaffirm the strong, enduring ties between the
American and Israeli peoples and to remind the world that the
commitment of the United States to the security and wellbeing of
Israel remains absolutely unshakeable. The friendship between our two
countries is based upon shared interests and values, a common
commitment to democratic institutions, regional stability, economic
prosperity and the pursuit of peace.
I would like to repeat our deep appreciation for the support of the
Israeli people and their government in the war against terrorism.
Israel has stood at the front lines of this struggle for decades. Both
our countries have lost many lives to merciless acts of terror. We
stand together as full partners to defeat this threat to the civilized
world. We also stand together in our efforts to end the brutal acts of
terror and violence that has beset the holy land for the past eighteen
months and to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. Both Israelis
and Palestinians have suffered mightily. Both peoples deserve a better
future, one in which they can live and work and play in safety and
security, as good neighbors without fear that they risk their
children's lives simply by allowing them to go to a disco, or a
pizzeria, or by sending them to a school. The United States is
determined to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve that future as
evidenced by General Zinni's return to the region.
Our goal is clear: to end the terror and violence; to build confidence
between Israelis and Palestinians that peace is not only possible, but
necessary; to resume a political process that will end the
half-century of conflicts on the basis of United Nations resolutions
242 and 338, and the principle of land for peace. President Bush has
outlined a vision in which two states -- Israel and Palestine - can
live together in peace and security. To realize that vision, the
Israeli people must have confidence that their existence as a Jewish
State living within secure borders is accepted by all, first and
foremost, by Israel's neighbors in the region.
For that reason we continue to call upon Chairman Arafat to live up to
his commitment, to renounce once and for all, the use of violence as a
political weapon and to exert a one-hundred percent effort to stamp
out terrorism. Only then can an atmosphere be created that is
conducive to achieving the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian
people, to live safely and in dignity in their own state alongside
Israel.
In that same spirit, I will be talking to Prime Minister Sharon about
the steps that Israel can take to alleviate the devastating economic
hardship being experienced by innocent Palestinian men, women and
children.
This visit to Israel continues a series of open, frank, discussions
that I have been having with Middle East leaders throughout this past
week.
Mr. Prime Minister, I want to thank you for your hospitality today,
and to look forward to our meetings. To you and to your country, I
offer the respect and good wishes of President Bush and the American
people.
Thank you.
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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