Charles de Foucauld, the found of the Little Brothers of Jesus, wrote a single sentence that's ahad a profound impact on my life. He said, "The one thing we owe absolutely to God is never to be afraid of anything." Never to be afraid of anything, even death, which, after all, is but that final breakthrough into the open, waiting, outstretched arms of Abba.
There is a general sense of guarded optimism. There have been too many false dawns over the last 60 years. There have been more tears than smiles, but I sense there is a commitment from Abbas and Sharon, a new determination to make a reality of the goal of two states living side by side.
President Abbas, you've dedicated your life to advancing the Palestinian cause. Must this conflict continue for generations, or will we enable our children and our grandchildren to speak in years ahead of how we found a way to end it? That's what we should aim for, and that's what I believe we can achieve.
Of course, Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with anyone who is dedicated to its destruction. But while I know you have had differences with the Palestinian Authority, I believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas...