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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 15, 1993


The Nobel Committee has made an inspired choice in selecting ANC President Nelson Mandela and State President F.W. de Klerk to share the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. These two farsighted and courageous leaders have overcome a legacy of racial distrust to reach agreement on a framework which has set South Africa on the path of peaceful reconciliation and non-racial democracy. It is entirely fitting that, having worked so closely together for progress, they should share the most prestigious international recognition for their success in setting in motion the transition to a new political order in South Africa.

In selecting these two great leaders, the Nobel Committee has also chosen to honor the many other South Africans who have struggled for so long to achieve racial harmony and justice. It is a testament to the great strides for progress they have made and an endorsement of their hope for a free and democratic South Africa.

It is sadly ironic that just as Presidents de Klerk and Mandela receive the recognition they and their associates so richly deserve, others hesitate to join them in the creation of a new, fully democratic South Africa. Still others are committed to violence which could destroy their current and future achievements. I urge those who have withdrawn from the common political process to re-think their positions and contribute their efforts to complete the great work undertaken by Presidents Mandela and de Klerk.

The American people join me in offering their deepest congratulations to these two great statesmen and all the people of South Africa. I am certain that with similar courage and dedication they can face the challenges and tasks ahead. The many Americans from all walks of life who supported the struggle to end apartheid will be at the side of South Africans as they build a non-racial democracy.

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