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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel

November 12, 1993

Middle East Peace Process

Q. Mr. President, are you considering a stop in the Middle East during your Europe trip in January to help the momentum of the Middle East peace process?

The President. The Prime Minister and I are going to talk about what we can do to keep this going, but that's not one of the things that's been raised so far by anyone.

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

Q. President Clinton, is King Hussein strong enough to make peace with Israel before President Asad?

The President. I think he's in a good position to proceed now. And of course, we all have come out for a process that will lead to comprehensive peace in the Middle East. But I think King Hussein obviously wants peace, and the recent elections must surely encourage him. I think the people of Jordan want peace.

Q. Do you think there's a chance to reach any progress with the Syrians?

The President. I hope so. We're going to discuss that today and a number of other issues. Over the long run, I think we'll have to make progress with everyone.

PLO Terrorism

Q. Mr. Prime Minister, what's your comment on the involvement of PLO people in the kidnaping and killing of an Israeli?

Prime Minister Rabin. We consider it as a great and dangerous violation of the commitment of the PLO. In the letter that was signed by the Chairman of the PLO to me, he committed himself to renounce and reject terrorism. Keeping commitments is the basis for the advancement towards peace. We'll keep our commitments; we demand them to keep their commitments and to come up openly in renouncing and taking the disciplined measures to which he is committed, as it is written in the letter that he signed and sent to me.

NOTE: The exchange began at 10:41 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 Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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