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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Shimon Peres of Israel

December 11, 1995

The President. Good morning, everyone. It's a pleasure and an honor to have the Prime Minister here. We're about to start our talks. And as you know, after we have those talks, we will have a press conference, and we'll be available for your questions. But I'm very much looking forward to continuing our work on the peace process and continuing our strong partnership.

Q. Will you, Mr. President, become actively involved in an Israeli-Syrian track?

The President. Well, we're going to—let us have our talk, and I'll be glad to answer the questions after we finish our visit.

Thank you.

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

The President. Good morning everyone. I want to welcome the Prime Minister here. It's pleasure to have him here and a privilege to continue our partnership, our search for peace. I'm looking forward to our visit. And of course, after the visit we'll have a press conference and the opportunity to answer your questions.

Prime Minister Peres. May I say the President has changed our hearts and changed our language. He changed our hearts by a very moving appearance at the funeral of the late Yitzhak Rabin. And he changed our language by adding two words that were never in our vocabulary: Shalom, chaver. It became a household expression.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:46 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Shimon Peres of Israel Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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