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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto of Japan in Lyons, France

June 27, 1996


Q. Mr. President, now that you have had the chance to meet with a few European leaders, do you get any sense that they would be more willing to crack down on Iran and other nations that are known to sponsor terrorism and perhaps not have business dealings and other dealings with them?

President Clinton. Well, let me say I think they're going to support a lot of the recommendations we have made, as far as cooperation. I believe they will be willing to do more. We now know that no one can hide from terrorism. We've had terrorist attacks in Japan, in the United States, Great Britain, of course now the terrible incident in Saudi Arabia. So I believe we will see a high level of support for common activities.

Q. Does that include, perhaps, other nations ceasing economic activity?

President Clinton. Well, let's wait and see. You know what my position is on that, so we'll just keep working on it.

Q. Prime Minister Hashimoto, is there any possibility that you would agree to an extension of the U.S.-Japan semiconductor agreement that is scheduled to expire at the end of July?

Prime Minister Hashimoto. Before going to that question, I would like to add a few words to what President Clinton has just said. On the moment I saw President Clinton in the lobby, the first words that I said to him was my sincerest condolences to the deceased and their families that—in the tragic incident in Saudi Arabia.

This was painful enough for me to think about as we were approaching Lyons, and on the moment we arrived in Lyons we heard of another tragic incident concerning Israel. We must eliminate terrorism. We must make utmost efforts to eliminate terrorism. It's our common enemy.

And also on this question—the leaders will have discussion and whatever ideas the President may have on this subject we would like to extend as much cooperation as possible. I expect Bill to make some comments on this subject at the dinner we're having this evening, for example. We will support the President as much as possible with our utmost might.

And you mentioned semiconductors. If I may add a few items to that, we do have insurance and also the passenger talks concerning the civil aviation. We are meeting today to try to solve those issues. We are not here to fight over those issues. I believe that we can find a solution. Both sides have to make compromises.

President Clinton. Thank you.

Q. So you might agree to extend the agreement?

President Clinton. It's time to go to work.

Q. So you won't say whether you're going to extend the agreement or not?

President Clinton. We have to go to work.

Prime Minister Hashimoto. But we will have to work on that.

NOTE: The exchange began at 5:30 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 Ryutaro Hashimoto of Japan in Lyons, France Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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