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Oslo, 20 August 1993
Chairman Yassir Arafat
After the initialing of the DOP agreement between Israel and the PLO I want to comment you personally for your courageous and enlightened leadership in producing this historical breakthrough.
I know how difficult and painful it was to make the agreement possible. True political leadership is to make possible that which is necessary. You will undoubtedly be met by some opposition and criticism. However, the great majority of people will admire your recognition of the historical necessity and opportunity. You walked the extra mile during that long and arduous night of intensive negotiations which paved the way for an historical agreement.
The channel we developed constitutes a unique mechanism for resolving complex and entrenched conflicts. It is extremely flexible. It enables trusted people to develop mutual trust through direct human engagement. The atmosphere of common commitment to the pursuit of common ends permeated the work of the channel and enabled the participants to overcome obstacles and crisis. I have had extensive direct contact also with your Israeli partners and the course of this process and I have no doubt that they are genuinely committed to seeking a just and lasting peace based on true partnership. Now starts the important task of building a peace based on justice also for your people. The process of implementation must be turned into a confidence building process. Capitalizing on shared interests can build mutual trust as well as the good society.
Let me also commend to you the formidable contribution by your principal negotiator, Abu Ala’a. His professionalism, competence, humor and composure has earned him enormous respect from all those engaged in the process. The Palestinian people could not have a better spokesman.
With best regards,
Johan Jørgen Holst
Last modified: Sun Aug 30 20:46:06 2015 - BL