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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With President Abdou Diouf of Senegal in Dakar

April 01, 1998

African Crisis Response Initiative

Q. Mr. President, are you—how important do you feel an African force is—[inaudible]?

The President. Well, I think it's potentially very important because an African Crisis Response Force can enable the Africans to stop problems before they get out of hand. And of course, the President and I are going to review one of the training exercises here in Senegal. We've had one in Uganda. We will have one in Ghana. President Mandela said that he would be interested in participating, so I'm encouraged by that. I think there's an enormous sense among African leaders that if they have infrastructure and the training to do it, they could solve a lot of their own problems. I'm very excited about it.

Q. Will you be talking to—[inaudible]—about reports of—[inaudible]—party politics here? There is criticism that perhaps the ruling party has too much power and is too controlling.

The President. Well, we'll discuss the whole range of things. But the main thing I want to do today is to thank the President for the support that he's given to peacekeeping around the world and to—[inaudible]—Senegal's long experience with elected Presidencies and to work on this African Crisis Response Initiative.

NOTE: The exchange began at approximately 11 a.m. at the Presidential Palace. In his remarks, the President referred to President Nelson Mandela of South Africa. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With President Abdou Diouf of Senegal in Dakar Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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