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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, 20:35 GMT 21:35 UK
Excerpts of Palestinian PM's maiden speech

The new Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas, has called on Israel to dismantle Jewish settlements and to implement the US-led "roadmap" to peace.

In his first policy speech since being chosen for the post, Mr Abbas said that the government would disarm militias, crack down on corruption and enforce the rule of law.

The following are excerpts from the speech:

I am filled with confidence and pride as I stand here before our elected Legislative Council.

The government commits itself to abiding by the law and enforcing it on all Palestinian institutions in order to ensure that in a short time there will be no violations of the law and no signs of chaos or ambiguity in society.

The government is certain that internal organisation cannot be achieved without a collective commitment to the principle of the rule of law.

The government will concentrate on the question of security... The unauthorised possession of weapons, with its direct threat to the security of the population, is a major concern that will be relentlessly addressed. We aim to ensure that only legitimate weapons are used to preserve public order and implement the law.

The roadmap must be implemented not negotiated
Mahmoud Abbas

The government will not allow - and will devise strict regulations to combat - abuse of personal positions in the exercise of trade and investment. The government will prosecute persons accused of corruption and embezzlement based on concrete evidence and pursuant to due process.

Plea to Israel

The internal situation cannot be separated from the painful and political reality in which we live and encounter - the deplorable occupation and its accompanying colonisation and oppressive policies that have caused us tremendous pain and suffering.

Israel is attempting to alter the roadmap as we know it by entering into complicated negotiations and by outlining its own understanding of the clauses of this plan and its means of engaging in the plan. Our engagement in this roadmap will not be affected by Israel's attempts and we will not negotiate the roadmap. The roadmap must be implemented not negotiated.

There is no military solution to our conflict... There is no alternative to a just and comprehensive political solution
Mahmoud Abbas

What we have outlined will be meaningless if Israel's policy of imposing facts on the ground continues.

Settlements, which violate international law, continue to be the major threat to the creation of a Palestinian state with genuine sovereignty. Thus, settlements are the primary obstacle to any peace process. Settlement expansion in and around Jerusalem... will only lead to inflaming the conflict and destroying any chance for peace.

We denounce terrorism by any party and in all its shapes and forms both because of our religious and moral traditions and because we are convinced that such methods do not lend support to a just cause like ours, but rather destroy it.

'No alternative'

We reiterate that peace cannot be possible with the continuation of settlement activity. Peace will not be possible with the expropriation and annexation of land.

The choice is yours: Peace without settlements or a continuation of the occupation, subjugation, hatred and conflict.

There is no military solution to our conflict. On the contrary, there is no alternative to a just and comprehensive political solution.

We welcome a peace that guarantees Israel's withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian and Arab Territories in accordance with international law.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




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