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Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Members of Congress

October 01, 1993


Q. What are you going to tell them to convince them on NAFTA?

The President. We're going to have just a free-flowing conversation about NAFTA. I'm going to make the arguments that I think are important, and try to answer some questions and try to identify the continuing concerns of these Members. I'm very heartened, I must say, by the article in the Los Angeles Times today, showing that public opinion has had a rather marked shift in favor of the agreement in the last 10 days. And I think the more people think about what happens if you don't do it as compared to what happens if you do, the problems that people associate with the agreement will seem to be associated with the status quo more than with the agreement. And that's what I believe. So we're going to talk about that, and we're just going to keep working on it, to see if we can pass it.

Middle East Peace Process

Q. Mr. President, how did you manage to convince Crown Prince Hassan and Foreign Minister Peres to come over to the White House this afternoon and have this open meeting? There have been secret meetings before, but this is the first time they've met at that kind of an open level. How important is it?

The President. I think it's quite important, because I think it's important that their people see them working together. As you know, I had hoped we would see some more states, Arab states, willing to lift the embargo. And right now, we're not making a lot of progress on that, but I think we will. I think this is an important next step. We just have to get these folks comfortable dealing with each other and being seen dealing with each other among their own people. That was the donors conference that we're having in Washington today. I think it will give a real boost to the peace process.

NOTE: The exchange began at 11:08 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. During the exchange, the President referred to Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of Israel. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Members of Congress Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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