The Arab Economic Summit,
19-20 January 2009,
State of Kuwait

Speech of His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas Abo Mazen
Head of the Palestinian Authority
Head of the Executive Committee of Palestinian Liberation Organization
In the Opening Session of the Summit

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

"And hold fast, all together, by the Rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves"

His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,,,

Brothers, Their Majesties, Their Excellencies and Their Highnesses,,,

Brother Amr Mosa, Secretary General of the Arab League ,,,

Dear Attendees,,,

Assalamu Alikom Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatu,

I would like to first direct my greetings to the people, government and leadership of the beloved Kuwait, and to recall, while we are here in Kuwait, that Kuwait was the base of the revolution of our Palestinian people, and one of its supporting pillar, protecting the sincere struggle for achieving its goals; the supreme goals of our Arab nation. From the heart of every Palestinian, I extend love, appreciation and gratitude.


Dear Brothers,

While the blood is being shed on the ground of heroic Gaza , while travails increase and deepen, and while the danger expands, knocking the doors of our Arab houses all over our great Arab nation, we meet in this summit, which is , out of our collective sense of responsibility, no longer a mere economic summit as it was planned to be, but became the summit of the Arabs, the summit of Palestine and Gaza first, for removing the atrocious nightmare of the occupation of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, for establishing our independent state with the Holy Jerusalem as its capital, solving all the issues of the final settlement, with the priority of Jerusalem, the refugees, the settlements, the borders, the water and the POW based on the international legitimacy and the Arab initiative for peace.


This is the core of the agenda of Arab Summit since Egypt hosted the first and the second summits decades ago till this summit of Kuwait. So, thanks for His Highness Sheikh Sabah for this altruism and this luminous response to our needs and what we should do.


I would like to frankly tell you dear brothers, the drums of this war were beaten months earlier before its actual commencement, through the tyrant blockade which price was paid and is still being paid by the Palestinian people with almost one month of killing and destruction. What we seek now after the success of the Egyptian brothers to cease the aggression is to achieve an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces, and to left the tyrant blockade imposed on our people in the wounded Gaza strip in application of the Egyptian integral initiative, including the immediate confrontation of the huge humanitarian crisis.


The most painful issue in this aggressive war is that the victims became the subject of the daily view on media screens, and that the number of martyrs escalated from 30 during the last six months to one thousand three hundred within few days while the whole people in the great prison of Gaza became either wounded or homeless. While our people in Gaza were under the fire, our people in the western bank suffered sadness and heartbreaking for their wounded twin, and our Diaspora communities are like other Arab and Muslim worlds, helplessly followed the catastrophe with nothing to do but sympathy, solidarity and prayers.


Before this repeated situation, we, as the Palestinian leadership exerted every possible effort to save our people from death, and shared you in this exhaustive effort.


We left no door but knocked and no effort but exerted. We did not excuse any power worldwide from its liability to stop this aggressive war. We talked to both the current and future American administration, headed toward the Security Council, to the European Union, and even to Israel itself, warning against the exaggeration in shedding the Palestinian blood, and its curse.


Regardless of the justifications presented by Israel to cover this unacceptable criminal war, Israel will not run away with it. Till now, we have not heard a reasonable voice that expressed understanding of its motives, but the voice of the departing American administration which unfortunately supported the aggression with some complementing advices of avoiding civilian causalities, which seems impossible with the overcrowd of Gaza being the most tight dwelling area on earth.


Your Majesties, Excellencies, and Highnesses,,,

When our earnest attempts to stop avoid this war did not succeed, we started working intensively to stop the aggression first, and then find solutions for all issues. I called, since the first day, to put aside all the Palestinian discrepancies and to unit efforts for confronting the aggression. I called upon our brothers in all groups without exception to participate in the meetings of the Palestinian leadership, to discuss all small and great issues, to coordinate situations and fill in gaps so that no one can get through our house and the walls of our resistance. I did not call for a traditional dialogue, but to an immediate agreement, to place ourselves since the first moment in confrontation of the aggression to depress its objectives. It is not suitable to blame each other and exchange accusation. What is suitable really, and even a must and a duty, it that we meet all as Palestinians of all groups and sects on immediate basis in Egypt, hosted by its people and its leadership and its president the dear brother Mohammed Hosni Mubarak to reach a compromise, as long as we have had thousands of hours of debate.


If the blood of Gaza and its bleeding wound is not enough to make us unite, what else, and when

What is needed now, if we agree, and I hope that we agree, is a national unity government that shoulders confronting the human crises, removing the blockade, opening the crossing points, restarting the reconstruction, and performing presidential and legislative elections at the same time.


On the Arab horizon, we followed the painful wars of intended deliberate suspicion and finalizing accounts as if Gaza war is found for this part to report its merits and to accuse the other part of all the atrocities. Gaza was burning, and instead of sending its people gestures of hope and trust to support them, a lot of people spread despair by escaping to the front. When the people of Gaza are told that all around you are against you, this is a call for despair and surrender. When they are told to fight with no hope that someone shares you the mission of confronting the enemy, it is the true letting down. Whoever has a support for Gaza, present it now, otherwise be silent for the good of Gaza and his good.


Despite our feeling of sorrow, we hope from Allah and from this summit that we surpass the wounds and forego all the discrepancies for the sake of a true unity that gathers the Arabs for the possible not separate them because of the impossible. What is possible is in our hands, as no one is for hustle uncalculated procedure like war for example that can be destructive. However, we can gather our national, economical, political and informational powers and utilize them for serving our issues and objectives.


Within the Arab circle, a lot has been said about the Arab Peace Initiative. Some called for burying it officially while others called for freezing it and others called for detailing and developing it. We have three options: the first is no peace no war, which we can not accept. The second is war, and the third is peace, and we are with this option. We should stop for ever cancelling a decision without having a better alternative. From my point of view, the Arab Peace Initiative is not doomed to fail, but our default in serving and supporting it is the reason of its tumble. If we cancelled this initiative because Israel did not agree with it, we shall be under the mercy of the Israeli veto and have to compromise with it, which is something that should not be accepted under any circumstances.


Your Majesties,,,
Excellencies and Highnesses,,,

What do we want??
We want to stop the destructive aggression, to treat its effects from now, we want practical solutions for the blockade, the crossing points, security and economy. Frankly speaking, only the Egyptian initiative provides us with such solutions, and only full Arab support without reservation shall grant the Egyptian initiative additional power to reach the solution. We want to add to all this international protection forces to protect our people in Gaza and all the Palestinian territories, which are the territories of our state with Jerusalem as its capital.


We called upon the Quartet Committee, the United Nations, and yesterday I spoke in Sharm Al-Sheikh summit that we want such an international force. Yes we want it to be the beginning step in Gaza strip under the supervision of the United Nations so that the Palestinian blood is not shed again, and to provide our people with a positive climate of development, freedom and independence. Therefore, I call upon you, in the attendance of the Secretary General of the United Nations, to grant the issue of international protecting forces a prioritized concern.


The Egyptian initiative, together with the United Nations resolution No. (1860) and the resolutions of this summit can all make our efforts practical and effective. Gaza has no agendas but its Palestinian agenda, as Gaza shall no doubt be back to the Palestinian origin through a true and genuine compromise, and shall no doubt be back to the Arab world through Egypt, which is shouldering its interest decades ago. Gaza shall not be a past, or a would that is healed or about to heal, but shall always be the heat of the future.


I would like to reiterate my thanks to the beloved Kuwait, and to its Amir, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the leader of the politics and the sate.


I also reiterate my thanks and gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, the creator of Mecca Agreement and shall not forgive those who killed it after a few months of its birth. If Mecca Agreement was not turned against, none of these events would have taken place. I, and my Palestinian people shall not forget the efforts of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques since the beginning of the aggression and long before, to take Gaza out of the fire and destruction.


I would like to also great all those who supported Gaza from Rafah crossing point in Egypt, and King Hussein bridge in Jordan. I think all the eastern and western Arab countries as well as our brotherly Muslim countries and our friends world wide are doing their best to support Gaza. Thanks to them all.


So as not to forget anyone, thanks to you all brothers, for all the political, material and immaterial support you showed. Our keenness is the same and our liability is the same. I pray to Allah the almighty that we are no longer separate, for we have only one choice which is unity, understanding and harmony.


Finally, to you Gaza, the title of our crises, and our bride, to our martyrs who watered the dust of Gaza with their blood,
To our wounded brothers and sisters who put the medal of heroism, uniqueness and giving on the chest of history, to our old and new prisoners, in prisons and yards, to militants of all groups fighting to stop the aggression and protect Gaza and its people, to you all I direct my greetings and appreciation.


To Gaza we direct all our love, and the commitment to work together for lifting the nightmare of death and destruction away from you and from Palestine for ever. To Gaza, we promise hope and commitment of our people and of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, its sole and legal representative, and from the whole Arab and Muslim nation gathering in Kuwait: the aggression shall be defeated, and we shall re-built Gaza, every house, mosque, street and hospital.



"Say work, for Allah, his Apostle and the believers will see your work"


Thanks for listening...

Wassalamu Alikom wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatuh



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