For Immediate Release
March 2, 2005
From remarks by Secretary of State Rice at the London Conference on Supporting the Palestinian Authority, London, England, 3/1/05
President Bush reaffirmed during his recent trip to Europe the clear vision that guides U.S. efforts: We are determined to see two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and in security. Genuine peace will only blossom when it is rooted in genuine democracy.
The United States wants to help the Palestinians prepare themselves for events that will arise over the next several months: parliamentary elections; and the creation of institutions that are transparent, accountable, democratic, and that can provide the basis of statehood.
Leaders will discuss economic reform and ways to help the Palestinians fight terrorism.
Without a sustained effort against terrorism, it will be very difficult, indeed impossible, to sustain the momentum for peace.
There is much work ahead for the international community, but the immediate challenge is to help the Palestinians in their reform efforts, and to help the peaceful withdrawal of the Israelis from the Gaza Strip.
A more representative Palestinian Authority must continue to answer the people's call for good governance, economic opportunity, and real justice.
Good governance requires the establishment of the rule of law, reform of the judiciary, an end to official corruption, and an overhaul of the pension and civil service systems.
Advancing reform is urgent work that cannot be deferred. It will come to nothing if terrorist groups continue to attack Israelis and to deny the Palestinian people the better life they deserve.