THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Atlanta, Georgia) ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 3, 1994
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRESIDENT CARTER IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
The Carter Center Atlanta, Georgia
5:23 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT CARTER: Hi. Welcome to the Carter Center.
Q President Carter, do you think that President Clinton is being tough enough in Haiti and in Bosnia? Do you think his policies are ones you would follow?
PRESIDENT CARTER: Well, I think his policies are perfect, yes. In Haiti, this is a special interest of the Carter Center. I've been down to Haiti seven times. We were there, as you possibly know, for the election which was a perfect demonstration of democracy. And I think we have to deal with Haiti in a very strong way.
I personally think that what they have attempted to do has been the proper thing, and my hope is that maybe continued pressure on the military and keeping Aristide supportive of reaching out to others in the government in the future will be the solution to it.
I think after the election was held I don't think Aristide had the political acumen or the judgment to bring in those who had opposed him in the election. He tried to run the country with a 65 percent majority with to the total exclusion of the power structure. And I think it would induce Aristide to be more accommodating and make the military carry out the agreement that they did make under support from Washington, and that would be the best approach.
Q And Bosnia?
PRESIDENT CARTER: Well, I don't think anybody knows the answer to Bosnia. The Carter Center hasn't been involved in Bosnia; never have been there. But I think that the only thing we can do is once we do make a decision about taking action to make sure it's carried out. I think the Serbs have gotten the impression since long before President Clinton took office that they could get away with their own oppression and with their own abuse of their neighbors with impunity. And when the United Nations and the European Community said we're going to do this and not do it, I think it strengthens the Serbs' commitment to act unilaterally and in a brutal fashion.
So I've always felt that the Bosnian situation ought to be primarily the responsibility of the United Nations and the European Community, and let the American government be supportive of what is decided in those circles that are most adjacent to, most involved with Bosnia.
Q A question for both of you. Is military pressure the way to end this situation in Haiti?
PRESIDENT CARTER: That's an option that I don't think we should ever relinquish. You know, if there is demonstrable proof that the military and other abusers in Haiti will not respond to any sort of diplomatic solution that would accommodate some of their desires, and with President Aristide reaching out to others in a more democratic fashion, then I think the military option has to be retained.
Q President Clinton, is military intervention on the table?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I agree with what President Carter said. That's basically what I said this morning, and I believe that. After all, we had an agreement, a Governors Island agreement, which was broken. And I think the military leaders are going to have to understand that we have been very patient. After they reneged on the Governors Island agreement, we went back and spent a few more months trying to come up with some alternative formula. President Aristide did not dispute the fact that he had to broaden his political base in order to effectively govern. He was willing to do that. And we have worked on this for months now.
For the last several weeks we keep getting reports not only of Aristide backers, but of civilians being not only murdered, but mutilated. And I think it's time for a new initiative. We're now, as you know, doing two things: we're going for stronger sanctions in the U.N. and stiffening the enforcement of the sanctions we have, consistent with what President Aristide has wanted all along. We're going to consult with all of our friends and allies in the region, and we're going to do our best to bring a conclusion to this before more people die innocently and continue to suffer. But we cannot remove the military option. We have to keep that as an option.
Q It sounds like your patience is running out.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I think it has run out; maybe we've let it run on a bit too long. But we're -- the United States is very sensitive to the fact that without our direct intervention, today, all governments in Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean have elected leaders except two. Haiti has ousted theirs, and Cuba. And we have done that in a spirit of partnership at its best in Latin America. When we have intervened in the past it hasn't worked out very well.
The work that President Carter has done in Central America on elections -- he's about to go back to Panama -- is an example of America at its best being a genuine good neighbor to those countries. And that's the best approach. But this is an unusual and, in some ways, unprecedented circumstance. We're going to keep trying to find other ways to do it, but we cannot remove the military option.
Q Mr. President, how much aid do you have in mind for the new government in South Africa?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, I'm going to talk about that a little tonight. We're going to roughly double what we had previously scheduled.
Q Which was?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: And I think it will be about $600 million over three years, something like that. I don't -- I will tell -- I will have the figure tonight. I'm trying to -- because I asked today, ironically that you asked this, for a little more information about some of the programs, and I'm going now to prepare for the program tonight. So I'll have it nailed down exactly about what we're going to do. But we're going to have a big increase in our aid and I hope we'll be able to sustain it for some time, because if the South African miracle can be translated from an election into the lives of the people there, then the promise that that would have for lifting all of southern Africa and setting an example that others might follow is quite extraordinary.
I think the whole world has been moved by the size of the turnout, by the profound passion of the people, and by the rather miraculous partnership between Mr. Mandela and Mr. de Klerk -- and the fact that Chief Buthelezi and the Inkatha Party came back in the 11th hour, participated and apparently have done as about projected and will be a part of the government. So I'm hoping that this is all going to work out fine.
Q Mr. President, would you appoint someone on the Supreme Court without interviewing them yourself?
PRESIDENT CARTER: I would.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Did you hear what he said? He said, "I would." (Laughter.)
END5:30 P.M. EDT