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Remarks of the President and King Hussein I of Jordan Following Their Meetings

December 21, 1982

The President. One of the nicest customs in the Middle East is the traditional greeting, "Peace be upon you." King Hussein's visit with us comes at a time of the year when thoughts of peace are very much in our minds. And in our meeting today, His Majesty and I have had a chance to reaffirm personally the continuing friendship between our two countries and to share with each other our hopes and dreams about our common goal of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

As trusting friends, we've spoken to one another as we always do—with candor and good will. And I told the King of my personal commitment to see peace in the Middle East become a true and lasting reality, and of my equally deep commitment to the proposals that we made September 1st to Israel, to the Palestinians, and to the Arab States.

I also expressed America's gratitude to the King for his own important actions in support of our initiative over these past few months. His Majesty eloquently described his vision of peace and reviewed for us what he's been doing to help give peace a chance to take root—particularly his efforts to encourage the Palestinians to join him in efforts to take bold steps toward peace.

Together, we've also shared our thoughts on what remains and must be done by each and all of us to give life to this common goal. We share a sense of urgency to succeed at this commitment. Our discussions today have lead to further meetings between our staffs over the next 2 days, and I look forward to meeting with the King again before he leaves Washington.

Your Majesty, welcome.

The King. I thank you, sir, for the warmth of your welcome, for the privilege and pleasure I and my colleagues have had of meeting with you, sir, and with our friends, and for the opportunity to discuss many problems of mutual concern and interest and many challenges that lie before us.

We look forward, sir, to continuing our discussions in the coming days, and this is an opportunity for me to reaffirm a long-life commitment for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East. May we hope and pray that we will succeed in making a contribution for a better future for generations to come in our part of the world and for the cause of world peace.

We'll continue to do our utmost, and we value very much, indeed, the atmosphere of friendship, honesty, and candor that has characterized our relations and particularly, sir, the friendship that exists between us. I thank you very, very much indeed, sir, for your many kindnesses and for the privilege and pleasure of being with you and with our friends.

Thank you, sir.

Note: The President spoke at 1:32 p.m. to reporters assembled at the South Portico of the White House.

Earlier, the President and the King met privately in the Oval Office. Senior members of their delegations joined them for further discussions, and then they met, together with their delegations, in the Cabinet Room. The President and the King and their delegations then attended a working luncheon in the State Dining Room.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks of the President and King Hussein I of Jordan Following Their Meetings Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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