THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS ON PRESIDENTIAL CALLS TO PRESIDENT ASAD AND KING HUSSEIN
President Clinton called President Hafiz al-Asad of Syria and King Hussein of Jordan this afternoon to discuss developments in the Middle East peace process. President Asad informed the President that he had consulted with the leaders of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and that they had agreed that bilateral peace process negotiations with Israel would resume in April. President Asad noted that the Arab leaders took this decision in the context of their support for the UN Security Council resolution on Hebron and to enhance efforts to improve the security of the Palestinians and to advance the overall negotiating process toward a comprehensive and lasting peace.
King Hussein expressed his support for the resumption of negotiations and his hopes for progress. President Clinton noted that the United States would be consulting with the Russian peace process co-sponsor to determine a specific date in April for negotiations to begin.
The President has also welcomed the intensive Israeli-Palestinian contacts which are taking place, including discussions today between Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Rabin. A senior-level Israel-PLO meeting will take place in the coming days and will be announced shortly by the parties.
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