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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With President Sam Nujoma of Namibia

June 16, 1993

Economic Program

Q. Mr. President, there are indications that the Senate Finance Committee may not hit your $500 billion target. They may fall short because of this problem on the gasoline tax. Would you accept less than $500 billion, which is one of your main principles?

President Clinton. Well, let's see what they do. I think the—and I think ultimately the conference report will—I think the bill that the Congress ultimately votes on will hit the $500 billion.

Q. If they come out under $500 billion-usually in conference they cut things in half-it would mean that you would get less than $500 billion out of the final product.

President Clinton. I'm not—let's see what they do.

Space Station and Super Collider

Q. Are you going to have a space station decision today—super collider?

President Clinton. There is a deadline sometime in the next 3 days. I don't know exactly when it is, but there's a congressional deadline, and we're working on a statement fight now.


Q. Do you think Namibia can be a model for South Africa, Mr. President?

President Clinton. I absolutely do. I think it's a model for all of Africa. The reason I asked President Nujoma to come here and be the first African leader at the White House is because of the remarkable success that he and his country have made in promoting democracy and market economies, and they've done it in a multiethnic society with great complications. But they've managed to do it. And I think they're a real shining example for emerging democracies in Africa and on other continents as well. I'm very excited to have him here today. Somalia

Q. President Nujoma, are you concerned about the American role in Somalia, Mr. President?

President Nujoma. We are grateful. In fact, I have come to express our gratitude to President Clinton, although the original initial send-up of U.S. troops to Somalia was under the Bush administration—Americans—American President who did that—and when he won in the elections, continued supporting the U.N. action in Somalia, while we were sitting there, while thousands of Somalis were dying every day. And I'm glad that U.S. Government and the President Bush saw the need to quickly move the U.S. troops there to stop the starvation of thousands of Somalis and—the distribution of food to the people who were in need. And that today the Somalis seem like anybody else. And we all see how to us, before the U.S. troops in Somalia, it was terrible. So we certainly hope that other situations, President Clinton and the people of the United States were not to be tired of not making the great efforts either directly or through the auspices of the United Nations to ensure that this—instability throughout the world.

Q. Do you think Aideed, the warlord, should be arrested?

President Nujoma. If he is, he has a hand in committing a crime to ambush and to kill the United Nations peacekeepers, certainly he should be punished for that.

NOTE: The President spoke at 8:40 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 President Sam Nujoma of Namibia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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