THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS ON THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL VOTE ON THE HEBRON MOSQUE MASSACRE
The United Nations Security Council has today adopted a resolution condemning the Hebron mosque massacre and calling for measures to safeguard the security of the Palestinians.
President Clinton expressed the horror of the American people at the time of the tragic Hebron murders. The President said, "The enemies of peace must not be allowed to triumph. Prompt resumption of negotiations to begin implementation of the Israel- Palestinian Declaration of Principles is the only answer to extremist violence on both sides."
The President's decision to allow passage of the resolution was made in the context of the agreement today by Syria, Jordan and Lebanon to return to negotiations in April and the high-level contacts between Israel and the PLO that will take place in coming days.
The President endorses the call made by the Security Council today for Israel and the PLO to redouble their efforts to realize this goal as soon as possible. The United States stands ready to do all it can to help the parties but with passage of this resolution it is time for them to return to the negotiating table.
The United States abstained on two paragraphs in the preamble to the resolution because of our strong objections to references made there to "occupied Palestinian territory" and to Jerusalem. The President said that his position on these matters has not changed. As Israel and the PLO have agreed, these are issues which can be decided only in negotiations on the final status of the territories. He does not believe references which could prejudice the outcome of these negotiations are helpful. The parties alone must make the decisions necessary to realize the promise of peace.