Next week, we are presented with an opportunity to make history.
At the invitation of President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will come to Washington to sit face-to-face and discuss peace. I am here to tell you that, as stated at the formulation of this Israeli government, Israel is committed to seeing these talks through to reach a final agreement and a permanent end to the conflict.
In short, we are not quitters.
The road to peace has been long and will continue to be strenuous, but we will not relent. There are forces around the region that have, and will continue to try, to derail us from this pursuit. Still, Israel remains steadfast in our desire to secure a lasting peace with Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people, alongside a thriving Palestinian state.
Israel is ready to sit down with the Palestinian leadership and come to resolution on the issues of concern to both peoples. After sixty years, Israelis hope the Palestinians will no longer treat us as wary neighbors but rather as regional allies and friends.
It is my sincere hope that at this historic turning point, Palestinians will join with Israel in a quest for peace.
Israel is dedicated to seeing this long elusive peace realized. We will not quit.