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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister John Major of the United Kingdom in Lyons, France

June 27, 1996

Terrorist Attack in Saudi Arabia

Q. Mr. President, what do you do if you discover that there was a state sponsorship behind the Saudi Arabian incident? What happens?

President Clinton. Well, I will take whatever action I believe is appropriate based on what the facts are. But let's wait until we see what the facts are.

Q. [Inaudible]—has said that there was intellectually a very strong case for the bombers. What is your reaction to that?

Prime Minister Major. I haven't seen the context of what he said, but I can see no case, intellectual or any other sort of case, for the sort of activity in Dhahran. It is indefensible by any tenet.

Q. Do you think there are further measures which you can agree here jointly with the other leaders to combat both the sort of terrorism you saw in Dhahran and also that we saw in Manchester from the IRA last week?

President Clinton. I do.

Prime Minister Major. So do I.

Q. Like what?

Prime Minister Major. Well, we have some——

President Clinton. Well—go ahead, please.

Prime Minister Major. We had some ideas discussed. We had some British ideas. I understand there are some American ideas. We will discuss them bilaterally, I'm sure, and we will discuss them with our colleagues. But I think we will probably unveil them after the discussions.

Q. Mr. President, you were going to talk about your ideas?

President Clinton. No, I was just going to say that we have already agreed on a number of things that we will do together to deal with the problems of international crime that specifically bear on terrorism. And we may come up now with some other things that we can do together.

But I think all of us understand that terrorism is a problem from which no one can hide and on which we must all cooperate. We have had terrorism in the United Kingdom, we have had terrorism in the United States, had this awful attack in Dhahran, had the problem in the Tokyo subway. This is the security challenge of the 21st century, I'm afraid, and we have to get after it.

Extraterritorial Impact of Sanctions

Q. Mr. Prime Minister, are you concerned about the U.S. efforts to impose sanctions on foreign companies that deal with Iran and Libya and Cuba? Is this a problem you're discussing——

Prime Minister Major. I don't think that's a—I don't think that's particularly a G-7 subject. It's a matter I have no doubt will come up in discussions at some stage.

NOTE: The exchange began at 4:21 p.m. at the Sofitel Hotel. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister John Major of the United Kingdom in Lyons, France Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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