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Shimon Peres Speaks at State Department

Aired August 1, 2002 - 12:18   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take you live to the State Department, where Shimon Peres is speaking.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SHIMON PERES, FOREIGN MINISTER OF ISRAEL ... we have (UNINTELLIGIBLE) We agree that we have to work on both the situation economically, because we are not fighting the Palestinian people.

We are fighting Palestinian terror. And in our judgment, what kills the Palestinians is their own terror.

As long as they are going to have 12 different groups, each of them shooting in a different direction, they kill the centrality and the coherence of the Palestinian cause.

Plus yesterday, a terrible day, as you know. And in spite of it, we still (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we are going to continue to improve the economic situation in the territories.

May I just mention briefly, because Condoleezza and the president told me that maybe the American people are not informed enough about what does it mean, the humanitarian effort and the economic doings. It's actually includes -- and I should be very brief -- aid to open up the Israeli market for Palestinian workers, in spite of all the dangers. Because this will give the Palestinians an immediate income and immediate cash.

We started with 7,000. We went up to 12,000. We are today 20,000. We should go to 30,000, since every Palestinian supports a family of almost 10,000 -- that means 300,000-400,000 people.

We are going to open the industrial parks to provide more jobs, to enlarge the fishing zone opposite Gaza.

PERES: So really an attempt to create work and jobs for the Palestinians.

The Palestinians are a proud people. I don't think they want to be beggars. They want to earn their living. And we feel that we have to enable to do this (ph), while fighting terror from dominating (ph).

The second thing, we have deblocked (UNINTELLIGIBLE) some money that we were holding, for the first time, trusting the new finance minister of the Palestinians that the money will not be mishandled, not reach terrorists or terroristic purposes.

Thirdly, to come to a place where the Palestinians are able or willing to become in charge of security, life will become normal again. We started with two zones -- one is Gaza, the other is Judea -- comprising three cities, Hebron, Bethlehem and Jericho.

And we did many other things that I won't go into because it will be too long. But we feel, as there is no compromise in our fight against terror, there must be all the attention to facilitate the life of the Palestinians.

PHILLIPS: Life will become normal again -- very positive words coming from Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. He is there at the White House. He has met with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. His next stop will be a meeting with U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

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