[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[February 12, 1995]
[Pages 192-193]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at a Meeting With Middle Eastern Leaders
February 12, 1995

    Thank you, Mr. Secretary. And thank you, all of you, for coming to 
this very important meeting. It is no secret to anyone in the world that 
we are at a critical moment in the peace process. We cannot allow the 
rise of terror again to threaten this peace, or as Chairman Arafat said 
the other day, we cannot allow it to kill the Palestinian dream.
    We are prepared in this country to redouble our efforts to get the 
peace process back in full gear. We are doing what we can on our own and 
with others to deal with the problem of terror.
    I want to begin by saying a special word of appreciation to 
President Mubarak for the Cairo summit. He has been involved in this 
process all along, and I think that the Cairo summit produced a clear 
statement by the leaders of all of you here represented that we are not 
going to let terror hold sway, that we are not going to let the peace 
process collapse. Today it is for us to begin to take the specific steps 
necessary to have the message of peace and renewed commitment carried 
    I think it's clear that we have to complete phase two of the Israel-
Palestinian Agreement. I think it's clear that we have to fully 
implement the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel. I think it is 
clear that we have to bring some economic benefits of peace as quickly 
as we possibly can.

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    And the United States is prepared to do its part on that. For 
example, if you agree to establish industrial zones in the West Bank and 
Gaza and elsewhere, I am prepared to go to Congress and seek approval 
for extending duty-free treatment to products coming out of those zones. 
Of course, in the end, the economic and political cooperation among all 
of you will be the most important thing in reaping economic progress. 
But I want to do our part.
    I know our Russian partner feels the same. I think that many others 
around the world will also help. But I am absolutely convinced that we 
need to move as quickly as we can to prove that there are some economic 
benefits to peace.
    Let me say also that, even though we must have enhanced security to 
create enhanced economic benefits, it is obvious that our attempt to do 
that is impaired when the movement of goods is limited by boycott, by 
closure, by any other action. So we're all going to have to work hard to 
make progress on the peace front, on the security front, and on the 
economic front at the same time. And we all have to recognize that there 
are difficult decisions to be made in this area.
    The negotiations that you have already concluded have built a 
framework for peace. What we have to do now is to have specific 
achievements, lasting achievements. We will do our part. We are as 
committed today as we have ever been to a comprehensive peace. I wish 
the representatives of Syria and Lebanon were around this table; they 
are not here only because there has been no peace agreement signed with 
them. But I know you all join me in saying that our work will never be 
completed until we are all around a table as partners working for peace.
    Now, there are many other things I could discuss today, but I mostly 
want to say to you, the United States is still committed to this, more 
strongly than ever. We are ready to do our part. We are ready to do our 
part economically. We are certainly ready to do our part in fighting 
terror. But we all have to do this together. And I hope that this 
meeting will produce further specific steps that we can all take to keep 
doing it together. We cannot let people believe that they can disrupt 
the rational, humane, decent course of history by terror.
    Mr. Secretary.

Note: The President spoke at 12:30 p.m. at Blair House. The following 
officials and their respective peace delegations attended the meeting: 
Secretary of State Warren Christopher; Foreign Ministers Atef Sedky of 
Egypt, Shimon Peres of Israel, and Abd al-Karim al-Kabariti of Jordan; 
and Nabell Sha'ath, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation 
for the Palestine Authority.