Abu Mazen's Address at Annapolis

The Reut Institute analyzes the main points of Abu Mazen's address at Annapolis.

In his address at the Annapolis Summit (11/27/07), Abu Mazen referred to a number of issues related to the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Hereby follows an analysis of the main points:

The objective: Permanent Status Agreement (PSA) based on the principle of two states - "[The] quest to reach the Two-State solution...is based on ending the occupation and establishing a sovereign State of Palestine living side by side with the State of Israel." In addition, Abu Mazen states that realization of the two-state principle will ensure Palestinian Right to Self Determination.

The strategy for reaching Permanent Status: The ‘Package Approach' - "Tomorrow, we embark on a serious and comprehensive negotiations process on all the permanent status issues including Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, security, and water, as well as others."

Specific reference to a number of core issues:

  • Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state - "We want East Jerusalem to be out capital - a capital where we will have open relations with West Jerusalem."

  • 'West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a Single Territorial Unit' - "our determination to the unity of our people in the West Bank and Gaza as a unified and unbreakable geographic and political entity will overcome."

  • Solving the Refugee Issue - The solution to the refugee issue will be derived from UN General Assembly Resolution 194, as mentioned in the Arab Peace Initiative.

Basis of the negotiations - The basis of the negotiations between the two sides is the Roadmap, the Arab Peace Initiative, as well as the UNGA Resolution 194.

Implementation of the 1st Phase of the Roadmap - "We will continue to carry out our responsibilities in accordance with the Roadmap." Nonetheless, Abu Mazen did not refer to the implementation of the 1st Phase of the Roadmap as a condition for the implementation of an agreement between the two sides.

Strengthening the PA - "Our civil, security and economic institutions must be given the opportunity to function and this process must be sponsored by the international community." In addition, Abu Mazen requested that this process take place in parallel to the political process.

Timeline of the agreement: until the end of President Bush's term - "We might achieve a complete transformation and a genuine peace can be achieved soon, before the end of your term, Mr. President."

Who is the Palestinian Partner? The PLO is Abu Mazen's original source of authority for holding negotiations: "Allow me, Mr. President, to thank you in my capacity as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole representative of the Palestinian people."

Last opportunity for a Two-State solution? The current window of opportunity might close and not open again. In such a scenario, the Two-State principle would be eroded. However, capitalizing upon the current window of opportunity may lead to a new regional reality:

  • Creating a political horizon - A political horizon is needed in order to weaken the extremist actors and to give hope to the Palestinian people.

  • Arab support as a basis for the implementation of the Historic Compromise - Support of the Arab states for Abu Mazen will anchor the Two-States principle and thus creates a link between Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the political process to be conducted between Israel and the Arab states.

Click here for the full speech.