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Shimon Peres: Palestinian Authority Must Control All Arms - 2001-11-15

Israel's foreign minister, Shimon Peres, has told the United Nations General Assembly that the Palestinian Authority must exercise control over all arms in its jurisdiction.

Mr. Peres said that terror is not an abstract dilemma for Israel, that his nation faces the reality of violent incidents every day.

In a reference to the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli Foreign Minister said democracy and security are impossible if there is one political authority but several armed partners. "The Palestinian Authority, which is a state in the making, must establish one authority over all arms, all armies, and all use of arms, not for the sake of Israel, but for the sake of peace and their own destiny, so that bullets will not negate ballots," he said.

Mr. Peres said Israel is committed to contribute whatever it can to renew the peace process but that peace can come only through a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians.

The Israeli foreign minister said many Israelis now support the idea of an independent Palestine. "Although this is not yet a formal policy of the government of Israel, there is support for Palestinian independence, support for a Palestinian state,"said Shimon Peres.

Mr. Peres said that, as far as Israel is concerned, "good neighbors are better than good guns."