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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 9, 1993

Statement by the Press Secretary

            The White House announced today that the President and 
       President Hafez Assad of Syria have agreed to meet in Geneva in 
       mid-January 1994.  Secretary of State Warren Christopher arranged 
       the meeting during his meeting with President Assad in Damascus 
       today following several rounds of discussions with Israeli and 
       Syrian leaders.
            The meeting will provide the two leaders an opportunity to 
       discuss the requirements for peace with security between Israel 
       and Syria.  It will help put in place this critical cornerstone 
       in the effort to build a comprehensive, just and lasting peace 
       for all the people of the region.
            The President has met with the other leaders of the states 
       involved in the peace process over the last year for high-level 
       discussions.  These meetings have been indispensable to our role 
       as full partner and active intermediary in the Arab-Israeli peace 
            President Clinton's meeting with President Assad is one in a 
       series of meetings between U.S. Presidents and the Syrian leader.  
       President Nixon met with him in 1974; President Carter in 1977; 
       and President Bush in 1991.

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