Bill Clinton photo

Exchange With Reporters at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington

January 17, 2000

Israel-Syria Peace Talks

Q. Mr. President, are the peace talks still on track?

The President. We're working on it. That's what I've been doing this morning.

Q. Who are you talking to?

The President. Just our team, so far today.

Q. Mr. President, the Syrians say there is an issue that needs to be resolved before they can come; they may not come on Wednesday. Is that right?

The President. I'll probably put out something later today. I'm working on it, trying to make sure—we're trying to figure out what the most effective way to go forward is. The good news is I'm convinced they both still want to do it. They're not as far apart as they might be; they're not as far apart as they have been. So that's the good news.

The difference is right now about how or what the best way to go forward in the—so I'm working on it. We'll try to make a decision by the end of the day, the next couple of days, about what the best way to go forward is, and we'll let you know.

Q. Meaning a decision as to whether there will actually be talks on Wednesday?

The President. Yes. The decision about what the best way is, based on where they both are, to take the next steps.

Residence in Chappaqua, NY

Q. Are you going to start doing this in Chappaqua?

The President. If I need to. [Laughter] I've done a lot of other stuff. We've got a lot of work to do on that place. But it's a great house, and we're making progress. We did a lot of work the last few days when I was up there.

President's Race Initiative Report

Q. Mr. President, some are curious about how your book on race relations is coming on this Martin Luther King Day. Can you give us an update on that?

The President. You know, I'm not going to put it out until I have lots of time personally to spend on it. I don't want it to be something somebody else did that my name is on. The Middle East peace talks took away a lot of the time that I was going to spend on it, so I'm a little behind. But I'm working on it.

NOTE: The exchange began at 11:01 a.m. in the computer lab. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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