Dinner greetings by US President George Bush (26 Nov 2007):
We've come together this week because we share a common goal: two democratic states - Israel and Palestine - living side by side in peace and security.
Achieving this goal requires difficult compromises - and the Israelis and Palestinians have elected leaders committed to making them. Achieving this goal requires neighbors committed to peace between Israel and a new Palestinian state - and I'm encouraged by the presence of so many here. Achieving this goal requires the commitment of the international community.
Statement by US President George Bush (25 Nov 2007):
I am pleased to welcome Prime Minister Olmert, President Abbas, and representatives of more than forty countries to the United States for the November 27 Annapolis Conference. The broad attendance at this conference by regional states and other key international participants demonstrates the international resolve to seize this important opportunity to advance freedom and peace in the Middle East.
This conference will signal international support for the Israelis' and Palestinians' intention to commence negotiations on the establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of peace between these two peoples.
It will also provide an opportunity for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and their neighbors to recommit to implementing the Roadmap, with the U.S. monitoring their progress by the parties' agreement. Finally, the conference will review Palestinian plans to build the institutions of a democratic state and their preparations for next month's donors' conference in Paris.
I remain personally committed to implementing my vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.
The Israelis and Palestinians have waited a long time for this vision to be realized, and I call upon all those gathering in Annapolis this week to redouble their efforts to turn dreams of peace into reality. I look forward to my discussions with Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas this week, as well as to addressing the conference along with them on Tuesday.
Source: White House
Middle East Quartet statement (26 Nov 2007):
The Quartet expressed strong support for the November 27 Annapolis Conference. It welcomed the commitment of the Israeli and Palestinians leaders to launch bilateral negotiations toward the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza and the realization of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The Quartet welcomed the parties' continuing efforts to fulfill their respective commitments under Phase One of the Roadmap and urged the international community to provide robust support for all the parties' efforts. Principals took note of the broad international support for the Annapolis Conference, and looked forward to the December Paris Donors' Conference to muster international financial backing for efforts to build the foundation for a viable and prosperous Palestinian state.
- Full text
Briefing by PM Olmert (26 Nov 2007):
Annapolis strength lies in absence of Hamas (Ynet): "Annapolis' greatest strength lies in the fact that even though it is taking place without Hamas, there are a great number of Arab nations in attendance. The international community understands that Hamas cannot be a part of this process."
Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (20 Nov 2007):
The goal of the Annapolis meeting is to put into motion serious, continuous and thorough negotiations between Israel and the PA that will lead us to deal with all substantive issues on the agenda of our relations with the PA ahead of agreement on a solution of two states for two peoples - a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people and the State of Israel, the national home of the Jewish people.
PM Ehud Olmert at the start of Cabinet meeting (19 Nov 2007):
Early next week, we will leave for the Annapolis meeting. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will accompany me; they will participate in the meeting and address it. This meeting, as I have said more than once, is not a conference for negotiations. It is an important meeting, initiated by US President George Bush.
FM Tzipi Livni at Cabinet meeting (19 Nov 2007):
I hope the Palestinians will understand the importance of the initiation of a substantial and serious process for the first time in seven years. IIf we are able to reach agreements that are acceptable to us, they will be firmly recognized by the international community as acknowledged agreements, especially with regard to security issues.
FM Tzipi Livni (18 Nov 2007):
The idea is to launch negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, to address on the day after Annapolis all the issues that need to be addressed in order to establish a Palestinian state as part of the vision of two states for two peoples. The idea of the meeting is not to address the core issues but to launch the process.
U.S. President Bush meets with Middle East leaders at the Annapolis Conference (Photo: Reuters)Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Annapolis Conference (Photo: Reuters)
"The conference will demonstrate international support for the commencement of negotiations on the realization of peace between two peoples"