Quotes from President Arafat’s Speech

"We had the honor, Mr. Secretary-General, of welcoming you a few months ago in our country, Palestine, where you observed and witnessed firsthand the tragedy of the Palestinian people and their grave suffering as a result of the continuing Israeli occupation of our homeland, Palestine. It is my hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you in the future under better conditions, a day when the occupation has been terminated and Palestine has been restored its freedom."

"I would like to remind you that, since 1973, the Palestinian question has been subjected to 21 vetoes in the Security Council by one of the permanent members of the Council, the last two of which occurred in a period of less than two weeks."

"I would like to call upon all of you…to stand by our people, especially as the five-year transitional period provided for in the Palestinian-Israeli agreements will end on 4 May 1999 and our people demand of us to shoulder our responsibilities and they await the establishment of their independent state. This independent Palestinian State must be established as an embodiment of the right of our people to self-determination."

"If the Israeli government wants reciprocity, I declare from this podium my demand of them for mutual compliance with the signed agreements, especially in the fields of security and the protection of Palestinian and Israeli souls and against violence and terrorism in all its forms and sources."

"Mr. President, I look forward to speaking to you once more when Palestine takes its natural place in the community of nations, when peace prevails in the land of peace and in the entire Middle East."