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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With King Hussein of Jordan

June 18, 1993

Middle East Peace Process

Q. Your Highness, what do you think are the prospects for peace soon? Does it look any better to you now?

King Hussein. I believe that some possible ground has been covered. We are still a long way from getting there, but there is no other alternative. I believe that we must do everything we can not to let the moment pass without—

Q. What's the main stumbling block?

King Hussein. It would complicate, possibly, to attempt to try to explain what the main stumbling block is. I believe that it's one of, hopefully, the Palestinians being able to feel that they are able to speak for themselves and contribute their share in shaping the peace that is comprehensive, that is so very, very important to all of us.

Q. Do you think Israel will be amenable now to recognizing a Palestinian state?

King Hussein. I don't know what Israel would accept or otherwise, but I believe that there is one important element, and that is that people on either side of the divide feel that this is the moment and are determined to continue to move ahead until a comprehensive just peace is—that future generations can enjoy.

Q. That's a pretty subdued tie you have on, Mr. President.

The President. Well, it's not Mickey Mouse. [Laughter]

[At this point, one group of reporters left the room, and another group entered.]

Q. Mr. President, how do you feel about today's visit and relations with Jordan?

The President. I'm very pleased that the King is here. I have looked forward to this visit for a long time. And I am very, very impressed by the progress which has been made in Jordan moving toward economic reforms, moving toward democracy. And also I am very grateful for the support of the peace process that the King has demonstrated so consistently. I have the feeling that maybe all the parties have now concluded not that they have no difference but that there is no alternative to peace. And if we do see this thing through and find some resolution, that will be in no small measure because King Hussein for so many years has persistently pushed us toward peace. And the United States will do what it can to help achieve that.

NOTE: The exchange began at 11:56 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With King Hussein of Jordan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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