Abbas sworn in as PA President

RAMALLAH, January 15, 2005 (WAFA)- The PLO Executive Committee (EC) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, was sworn in on Saturday as President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) at a ceremony held by the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) at the Presidential Headquarters in Ramallah.

In a speech after the swearing in ceremony, President Abass confirmed that “we will remain committed to the PLO’s strategic choice: the choice of achieving just peace and our national goals through negotiations”.

“We are fully prepared to resume permanent status negotiations, and that we are politically ready to reach a comprehensive agreement over all of the issues”, President Abass said.

“The path to these goals is what we and the world have agreed upon in the Road Map. We have repeatedly stated that we are committed to our responsibilities in the Road Map. We will implement our obligations as a matter of Palestinian national interest. In return, Israel has to implement its obligations”, he added.

“Our hand is extended towards an Israeli partner for making peace. But partnership is not through words but rather deeds. It is through ending assassinations, the siege on our towns, arrests, land confiscations, settlement activity and the separation wall”, he said.

“Partnership cannot be achieved by dictation, and peace cannot be reached by partial or interim solutions. Peace can only be achieved by working together to reach a permanent status solution that deals with all of the outstanding issues, and which turns a new page on the basis of two neighboring states”, he confirmed.

In his speech, Abbas denounced violence. “We condemn these actions, whether by the Israeli occupation forces or the reactions of some Palestinian factions,” he said, “This does not help bring about the calm needed to enable a credible, serious peace process. We are seeking a mutual cease-fire to end this vicious cycle.”

Members of the Abbas family, background left, applaud after Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, right, was sworn in as President of the Palestinian Authority during a ceremony at the late leader Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah Saturday Jan. 15, 2005. Abbas was sworn in as Palestinian Authority president Saturday and started his job with two crises: Israel cut contacts with him until he reins in militants and 46 election officials resigned amid allegations of irregularities in the vote that brought him to power. (Photo: AP/Awad Awad/Pool)

President Abbas dedicated his win to the Leader Arafat, whom he credited with planting “the first seed of democracy” among Palestinians. “The one who won is the heroic Palestinian people, and therefore I present this victory to the memory of our eternal late Leader, Yasser Arafat,” he said.

“I fully place confidence in brother Ahmed Qurie, the Prime Minister, and I ask him to highly concern himself with the issue of f security, municipal and legislative elections and reforms. We will also deliberate the idea of government reconstitution in accordance with the Basic Law”, President Abbas, announced.

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