Remarks by President Bush And NATO Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer
the Oval Office
2:52 P.M. EST
Q Thanks, Mr. President. In June, 2002, you urged the Palestinian people to
replace Yasser Arafat with a leader, in your words, not compromised by
terror. Arafat today is gravely ill. In fact, Palestinians have already
selected his successor. Do you see a new opening for peace here?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I do. There will be an opening for peace when leadership of the Palestinian people steps forward and says, help us build a democratic and free society. And when that happens — and I believe it’s going to
happen, because I believe all people desire to live in freedom — the United
States of America will be more than willing to help build the institutions
necessary for a free society to emerge, so that the Palestinians can have
their own state. The vision is two states, a Palestinian state and Israel,
living side by side in peace. And I think we’ve got a chance to do that. And
I look forward to being involved in that process.