The Address of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri At the Conference of the Ninth Islamic Summit


November 12-14, 2000


In the name of God, the Beneficent and the Merciful

Your Royal Highness, the Prince of the State of Qatar, Sheik Hamad Ben Khalifa Al-Thani, the President of the Conference,

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses, the kings, the presidents, the princes, the ministers and the representatives,

Your Excellency, the Secretary-General of the Organization for the Islamic Conference,

Your Excellencies, the ambassadors,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you,

I would like, on behalf of His Excellency, the President of the Lebanese Republic, and myself, to thank His Royal Highness, the Prince of the State of Qatar, for hosting this Conference. I would also like to express my deepest appreciation to Sayyed Muhammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for leading the Organization for the Islamic Conference. His efforts since the last Conference in Tehran, contributed to the development of the role of the Organization for the Islamic Conference, making it one of the major regional organizations at the present time.

Your Royal Highness, the President of the Conference,

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses

Allow me to convey the greetings of my people who proved, thanks to resistance, that the will to be free shall eventually triumph. 

Due to circumstances and facts, this Summit is a Palestine Summit, a Jerusalem Summit and above all an al-Aqsa Summit. It is true that the issue of Palestine in general and the issue of Jerusalem in particular were prominent in other Islamic Summits. But the blood of the children, the elderly and the youths of Palestine has placed the tragedy of the Palestinian people on top of the agenda of the Conference. Since the creation of the Zionist entity on the territory of Palestine, the Palestine issue has been a vital Islamic issue, as much as it is an Arab, international and human issue, affecting stability and security in this region and the rest of the world.

Gentlemen, the Arab and Muslim partisans of justice and human rights wonder if their strategic choice of peace were right, and if Israel was really seeking peace. They actually wonder if they should continue with the peace process. 

The way of peace is indeed the right one. For peace to be achieved, it has to be “Peace of the Strong” not of the strong and the weak. And to be strong, that peace shall not be based on violence, but on solidarity and unified attitude for the benefit of our interests.

We have a fierce enemy. It does not think, judge nor act as we do. It tries to take advantage on our partition, and considers our noble character to be a sign of weakness. For Israel, the Arab decided to adhere to the peace process because they did not have another choice.

Gentlemen, the Israeli Prime Minister was astonished by the speeches given by the moderate leaders of the Arab and Muslim world at your Summit. However, the Israeli Government is ought to reconsider its policy based on violence and military power to counter the peaceful intifida, the sole means used by Palestinians to manifest against the daily injustice.

Instead of criticizing the Arab and the Muslim, Israeli leaders are ought to understand, that public opinion of the Arab and Muslim World shall not tolerate any injustice or genocide committed against Palestinians.

Israel should consider carefully the attitudes of the moderate leaders of the Arab and Islamic world, who respect justice, human rights and international resolutions. Partisans of the peace process, these leaders believe that Israel has not changed its ancient behaviors, for it does not respect the principles of justice, still violates the human rights and does not seek a just and comprehensive regional peace. The Arab and Muslim leaders impute the failure of the peace process to Israel, because of what is being committed in Palestine, before the whole world, against civilians. The Israeli Government has proven its will to lead its people to the vicious circle of violence.

Israel should stop using its international liaisons to intimidate the Arab and Islamic World, which strongly condemns the Israeli Government behaviors against peace. Contrary to the Arab and Islamic countries that have made peace their strategic choice, Israel wants to hold on to the land and the Holy Places and to subjugate the Arabs and Muslims. This will degenerate into a vicious circle of violence, which won’t spare Israel.

Israel should realize that no one would ever tolerate Israeli violations against the Islamic and Christian Holy Places and that the solution lies in the respect of international legitimacy and of its resolutions.

Gentlemen, given the weight of its participants within the international community and the spiritual authority of its organization, the Islamic Summit can make strong, clear and applicable decisions in support of the Palestinian people’s efforts to liberate their land and their and our holy places and to establish an independent state.

Muslim nations expect this summit to break with Israel and stop any kind of normalization so that the Israelis understand that the policy adopted by their Government affects them and their country. They are ought to understand that Israel cannot have excellent relationships with Islamic countries while it is still aggressing the civilian people in Palestine.

The extraordinary Arab Summit in Cairo endorsed decisions in support of the Palestinian people’s intifada for Jerusalem, al-Aqsa and freedom. The Islamic Summit can discuss the possibility of applying these decisions on the level of the Islamic World. By doing so, the martyrdom of Palestinian children for freedom would represent the freedom of Islam that was pointed out by His Highness, Prince Abdullah Ben Abdel-Aziz at the Cairo Conference. The peace that Palestinians and Arabs demand is a “peace of the strong,” as stated by President Bashar Assad at the very same Conference.

Your Royal Highness, the President of the Conference,

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses

This time, I carry good news, hope and commitment from Lebanon. Due to the unity of our people and their believe in their country and its future, we were able to overcome internal strife and launch the reconstruction and development process. Both the unity of decision and the bravery and commitment of the resistance movement drove the Israeli enemy out of our territory in the South and the Western Bekaa. Syria had played and is still playing a positive and determining role in ending the interior conflict and maintaining the country’s unity and stability. The Syrian support to Lebanon in the Resistance to occupation greatly contributed to the liberation of the land’s biggest part.

We are committed to working for a peace that would liberate Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian land. In this regard, we request from the Islamic Summit to resort to all means of pressure and ensure the application of relevant legal international resolutions.

This crucial juncture in the world, at the dawn of the 21st century, imposes upon our nations and peoples two priorities or goals that should always be taken into consideration when setting out our plans and policies, namely: stability and development.

There is no stability without growth or growth without political and social stability. By calling for solidarity, cooperation and stability, we seek to preempt problems by follow-up and management at regional and collective levels. We reiterate Lebanon’s proposal at the Casablanca Conference of 1994: a serious reflection and practical steps towards an Islamic Economic Market. It is neither an exclusive nor an isolationist market; it is rather a common-interests and development market. It is a means to enter the global economy as an active and efficient participant. Our strength will be drawn from our resources and our ability to attain economic progress.


We hope that our Conference, the 9th Islamic Summit, will be an opportunity to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, in order to regain rights, safeguard the holy places and give thought to a future of expectations for Islam and Muslims.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.