This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," September 19, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, the president of Columbia last week; now the prime minister of Israel this week, Ariel Sharon (search). He sat down with me after his visit with the United Nations and that famous speech before the assembly.
ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I cannot say that the attitude of the United Nations always is for the Israeli attitude. Israel, I think, has been under severe attacks by members of the United Nations many times.
I think it was important to come and to bring forward the Israeli position.
CAVUTO: Now, we're told that a lot of top dignitaries met with you and actually liked you. Can you reveal any details, who talked to you, who shook your hand, that sort of thing?
SHARON: I think I met many people. I met, of course, President Bush and the American leadership. I met Prime Minister Blair (search).
CAVUTO: Well, all of those guys like you. Now, I guess what I'm asking...
CAVUTO: Musharraf of Pakistan, what was the reaction?
SHARON: And Putin, I met. I know him for many years.
SHARON: And heads of Muslim countries and...
CAVUTO: How did they treat you?
SHARON: In, I would say, a normal way. And they are not members of the Zionist movement.
CAVUTO: Right. Right.
SHARON: But I think they understand, also, there are changes and maybe time arrive to try and invite the relations and strengthen relations.
And Israel, being a tiny, small country, of course has interest to strengthen — we have interest to strengthen our relations with other countries, mostly countries that were hostile for many, many years. And, myself, I am going to make an effort to try and solve this problem.
I decided to make a real effort to move forward towards peace, not easy thing. It is very complicated. But I decide to do it. I know, when I announced that I am going to implement a disengagement plan, so many people did not believe that I am going to do it, because they understood it's a very, very hard thing.
And while they are not true that I am going to do it, I have said and I did it.
CAVUTO: But if there is renewed violence, sir — and your critics are instantly going to say, especially the more conservative members within your party, are going to say: We told you so. This was a mistake.
SHARON: Look, first, I don't think it was a mistake. I think it was very important. It was impossible to expect that 8,000 Jews will be living in an area where 1.2 million Palestinians live there. And I don't think we ever had a plan that the Gaza (search) district will part of state of Israel.
But it's not so important what they are going to say, because they'll say many things, even now.
It's important, what we are going to do.
And once we left Gaza — we are not there anymore. Since last Monday morning, we are not there. So, nobody might have any complaints that we are holding their area. And I think our chief of staff said very clearly, that if terror will not stop, Israel will react in a very hard way. We are not going to...
CAVUTO: Ever in a reoccupy-Gaza way?
SHARON: No, I don't think that we have to...
CAVUTO: That's out?
SHARON: No, I think we have been there for a long time and I don't have any plans whatsoever to return there.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you, sir, there have been concerns about Al Qaeda infiltrating that area. Do you have any truth to that?
SHARON: Look, Israel is a strong country, well-armed, courageous forces and courageous people altogether in Israel. And we will have an answer to that. We are not going to enable Al Qaeda country being on our border.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you, sir, I watched your speech very closely. And I noticed that Nasser Al-Kidwa of the Palestinian Authority, foreign minister, didn't say boo. He sat, for the most part, with his arms crossed, emotionless. What did you read into that?
SHARON: I did not see that.
And I think that the Palestinians, mostly, when it comes to Mahmoud Abbas (search), I believe they understand that the time arrived to change the relations. And I believe that Mahmoud Abbas understands that most of the suffering that was caused to the Palestinians were a result of terror that was initiated by Yasser Arafat, who conducted almost 40 years a strategy of murder and terror. And they understood that.
It is not that he is a member of the Zionist movement. It is not that what he worries is about us. I think he worries about the Palestinians and he understands it should be a change.
The thing is that, in our part of the world, declarations, speeches, talks, promises are meaningless. Only one thing should be taken seriously. It is only acts. So, we are not going to take into consideration any promises. We are going to look for one thing, how they are going to act and take steps against terror and stop terror.
CAVUTO: But what if Abbas is telling you, sir, as I think he has in the past, that: I can't always control Hamas; I can't always control these groups that sometimes go off on their own?
What if we do have an incident from one of these extreme groups, despite what Abbas does?