THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON AND HIS HIGHNESS THE AMIR OF KUWAIT
IN PRESENTATION OF THE MUBARAK MEDAL TO PRESIDENT CLINTON
Bayan Palace Kuwait City, Kuwait
6:50 p.m. (L)
HIS HIGHNESS THE AMIR: Your excellency, Mr. President, I welcome you on the soil of Kuwait in the name of the people of this land, who are delighted to welcome you and have the opportunity to express their appreciation and gratitude to the friendly people of America, and to you, honorable person.
Your visit, short as it is, has a great significance. It's an expression of your people's lofty ideals and their readiness to defend them so that peace will prevail among the nations of this world.
Mr. President, the friendship that binds our two countries and peoples, in spite of the disparity in size and geography, is an irrefutable evidence of our unity of purpose and our efforts to pursue the common welfare of all the peoples of the world for humanitarian reasons.
We, Mr. President, together with those who share our beliefs in the necessity of containment of aggression on the part of some, and their tendency to violate international law, are deeply appreciative of your people's stances and their readiness to sacrifice in sending the men and women of the American Armed Forces here to stand side by side with their friends to defend these noble principles.
It seems that even these days some evil powers, threatened by consumed lust to dominate and oppress, think that they can disregard problems and values, and to commit aggression whenever they feel like it. Such an outlaw mission can only be deferred by others in its power capable of reverting it back to its senses and showing that there still are those who would defend the law and the principles of peace and justice.
Mr. President, the people of Kuwait want to express to your excellency the deep appreciation of your noble qualities, especially matching your words with deeds, with patience that does to lack resolve, and compassion that does not lack determination.
We also wanted to convey to you, and through you, their feelings toward the people of the United States, who, with full awareness and determination, took it upon themselves to defend just causes, wherever they are.
It is a source of great pleasure for me that, in the name of the people of Kuwait, and in the name of the noble friendship that binds our two countries and peoples, I present you with our highest decoration, the Necklace of Mubarak the Great, as a sign of our gratitude and sincere friendship between our two nations, unified not only by common interests, but also by high ideals.
With my deepest affection and highest regards. (Applause).
THE PRESIDENT: First, let me thank you, Royal Highness, and the people of Kuwait for this high honor. Mubarak the Great, your grandfather and the modern-day founder of this proud nation, symbolizes the determination to defend your independence against all aggression.
I accept your honor on behalf of all the American people, and especially the men and women of our Armed Forces. They are the strength behind our commitment to Kuwait and to peace and security in the entire Gulf region. They are the steel in our determination never again to allow Iraq to threaten its neighbors. They have stood shoulder to shoulder with your men in arms, and once again have said no to aggression and yes to peace.
As the men and women of our Armed Forces work to make peace in the Gulf, far-sighted leaders are making peace elsewhere in the Middle East. I am encouraged by the effort of Arabs and Israelis to live together in peace. As Jordan and Israel have demonstrated, a peace for the generations is now before us.
I want to thank Kuwait especially for the important contribution you have made to the peace process. By helping lead the way to end the boycott of Israel, Kuwait is saying, let us close the door on the past and open a new page to the future -- a future of peaceful co-existence and prosperous commerce for all the people in this region.
Your Royal Highness, the United States stands with those who seek to ensure the triumph of hope over fear. It was just a few years ago that President Bush sent our troops here to defend your very existence. Since that time our friendship has grown and our military cooperation has increased.
Our determination is clear: Kuwait shall remain free. And the United States and Kuwait will remain partners into the future.
I thank you again. (Applause.)
HIS HIGHNESS THE AMIR: Allow me, Mr. President, to present this decoration. (Applause.)
Q: Your Highness, as you've just heard, President Clinton considers the Arab-Israeli peace process to be a very high priority. When might we expect Kuwait to open direct negotiations and perhaps exchange embassies?
HIS HIGHNESS THE AMIR: I don't think this would be very far. As soon as the peace process is finished successfully, this will be achieved.
END 7:07 (L)