JERUSALEM In the 42 years since Israel captured Jerusalem, the rhetoric of leaders in the Middle East has reflected the deep division over the fate of the city. Jerusalem remains at the heart of the conflict in the region.
Here are some of the statements made since 1967:
* Anwar Sadat, Egyptian president from 1970 to 1981, in a speech to the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem in 1977:
"There are Arab lands which Israel occupied and continues to occupy through armed force. We insist on the complete withdrawal from them, including Arab Jerusalem ... It is inadmissible that anyone should conceive the special status of the city of Jerusalem within the framework of annexation or expansionism."
* Golda Meir, prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974, to Time Magazine in 1973: "Arab sovereignty in Jerusalem just cannot be. This city will not be divided -- not half and half, not 60-40, not 75-25, nothing. The only way we will lose Jerusalem is if we lose a war, and then we lose all of it."
* Yasser Arafat, Palestinian president and chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation until his death in 2004, said more than once:
"Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Palestinian state. Whoever accepts this, fine. Whoever does not, let him drink from the sea at Gaza."
"There is absolutely nobody among us who will surrender one grain of the soil of noble Jerusalem."
* Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of Israel, in a speech to the Knesset in 1995, the year of his assassination:
"I said yesterday, and repeat today, that there are not two Jerusalems; there is only one Jerusalem. From our perspective, Jerusalem is not a subject for compromise. Jerusalem was ours, will be ours, is ours and will remain as such forever."
* Ban Ki-moon, U.N. secretary-general, in a March 20 statement made alongside Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah:
"The world has condemned Israel's settlement expansion plans in East Jerusalem. Let us be clear: all settlement activities is illegal anywhere in occupied territories and this must stop."
"We can and must find a way for Jerusalem to emerge from negotiations as the capital of two states with arrangements for holy sites acceptable to all."
* Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel from 1996 to 1999 and its current leader, in a March 22 Washington speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC):
"The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It's our capital."
In a March 15 speech: "We will continue to ensure that Jerusalem is an open city accessible to all religions; a city where Jews and Arabs, Christians and Muslims co-exist and enjoy freedom of religion and access to religious sites."
* Mahmoud Abbas, current Palestinian president and PLO chairman, in a speech to the 2007 Annapolis peace conference in the United States:
"We want East Jerusalem to be our capital -- a capital where we will have open relations with West Jerusalem and where we will guarantee for believers of all religions the freedom to practice their rituals."
* Khaled Meshaal, leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in a March 16 speech:
"Jerusalem belongs to its people, to the Arab and Muslim people of Palestine. It's the gate to heaven and it is not fitting to make Jerusalem a gate to surrender and sellout. No Palestinian, Arab or Muslim leader, regardless of his stature, can sign a deal that gives away Jerusalem, or provide cover for such a deal."
* Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, in a 1981 address marking al-Quds day (Jerusalem day), which he declared as falling on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan:
"In order to liberate al-Quds (Jerusalem), machineguns relying on faith and the power of Islam must be used, and political games redolent of compromise and keeping the superpowers happy laid aside."
(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)