THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON, PRIME MINISTER RABIN OF ISRAEL AND KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN AT STATE DEPARTMENT RECEPTION
The State Department
9:25 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. Thank you for your kind remarks. Thank you for being a remarkable host tonight for this fitting capstone of the last two days. And thank you for your tireless efforts toward this remarkable achievement. The world is in your debt as well, sir, and we're grateful to you. (Applause.)
What a two days this has been. It's been so elevating and so exhilarating, I hesitate to diminish it in any way with a little humor. But when we were being called in and we realized, the three of us, that once more we were going to be asked to say something -- (laughter) -- I said, isn't it wonderful we're going to give another speech. (Laughter.) His Majesty rolled his eyes -- (laughter) -- and the Prime Minister said, you go in and tell everybody we're very grateful to them, we've had a wonderful time and we're going to eat and drink some more. (Laughter.)
I think America will long remember the remarkable signing ceremony yesterday and the gripping appearance of King Hussein and Prime Minister Rabin before the joint session of Congress today. They were truly magnificent. They remind us by the events here in the last two days and by the lives that they brought here that it still is possible for hope to triumph over hate, for unity to triumph over division, for optimism to vanquish cynicism even in this day and time.
And I want to say a special word of thanks on behalf of the American people for this process in the Middle East. Your Majesty, Prime Minister, if you look out in this room today, there are Jewish American and Arab American citizens of my country who never knew each other before this process began; who never related to each other; who always wondered if they really did share the same citizenship, the same experiences, the same feelings and values. Now they're part of the Builders for Peace Program. They're talking about all the young people coming over here from Jordan and Israel and Egypt and Morocco in the Seeds for Peace Program. They're imagining what might happen in the new world of investment and trade and human contact between people in the United States and people in the Middle East. So that is something that we owe you as Americans.
I am very proud of the role the United States has been able to play in this process, but all we can ever do is to make it possible for brave leaders to feel secure enough, certain enough, trusting enough of us so that they can do what it is in their what it is in their heart they wish to do. If we have done that, I am very proud and grateful for the opportunity to have done that.
But in the end, we must, all of us, be grateful to these two remarkable men and their remarkable nations. And we must commit, all of us, to make sure that the great journey they have started has a successful conclusion. That is my commitment. And with that, I welcome them to this podium and thank them for these last two magnificent days.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
KING HUSSEIN: Mr. President, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Secretary, and dear friends: These have indeed been two very, very special days -- days of commitment and hope; days marking a dream coming true; days dedicated to the future of our people, all our people, and to the ones that will follow, to live in peace and security with no barriers separating them, the barriers that have come down through our -- and our work in these last two days. The desire, the wish the hope of all of that, the time came when this turned into reality. The end of the state of war, the beginning of the building of peace for all times to come between our people. Hopefully, a peace that will be powerful -- a comprehensive one in our entire region.
We pledge before you our commitment and our resolve and determination to continue as effortly as we can, invigorated by all that we have been met with in the way of warmth and support and understanding, and by the accomplishments to see it through, to continue our journey in the interest of humanity, in the interest of people, and to leave behind us the legacy of generations to come.
I wish to thank most sincerely President Clinton for all his support, his interest. Ever since I first had the privilege of meeting him I felt I was dealing with a human being with real concern, with a big heart, with vision, with understanding, with determination to help resolve our problems. I am proud of him. He is a friend. (Applause.)
And I would like to thank most sincerely the Secretary of State, a dear friend who we have seen often amongst us in our part of the world -- always determined, always optimistic. And, indeed, all those friends who have helped us along recently and over the years.
On behalf of Noor, of myself, and all those Jordanians who are proud to be with you here, thank you and God bless you. (Applause.)
PRIME MINISTER RABIN: Mr. President; Your Majesty, the King of Jordan; Secretary of State; the Jordanian, the Israeli, the American segments that are here: I said before to the President, how many speeches -- (laughter) -- do we have to deliver?
But no doubt, these two days will be remembered -- will be remembered as a real combined effort by Jordan, Israel and the United States to change reality; to change perceptions; to bring hope to people that have experienced war, violence, terror. And I'm sure that on both sides most would like to see a different kind of a life.
We have made a real major step -- a step with great --by ending the state of belligerency, as it is written in the paper, and a state of war, as the King of Jordan declared. But with all these great hopes, very much would be dependent on what we, on a trilateral basis, will make that these hopes will not remain beautiful words, magnificent speeches, but a different status into the reality.
Being the oldest in age among the three -- (laughter) -- I'll never forget that as a young Israeli officer in 1949, I participated in the first negotiations for armistice with Egypt. I was the second in command of Israel -- who commanded our forces. And we met Egyptian officers, delegation. We signed. There were great hopes. It didn't materialize. It took too long that it became reality.
Today, Your Majesty, Mr. President, what we have achieved in the last two days is our joint and common responsibility to make it work, to translate the beautiful words into realities so the peoples on both sides, Jordanian and Israelis -- hopefully, later on, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese -- will know that the new era has been created not by speeches, by visions, by negotiations, by translation into reality.
I believe that this time we will succeed. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END9:45 P.M. EDT