THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT UPON DEPARTURE
Andrews Air Force Base Camp Springs, Maryland
9:52 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Not long ago, Israel and the Palestinians announced that they have reached a full agreement on implementing the next phase of the Declaration of Principles. This is a big step on the road to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. And, on behalf of the American people, I want to congratulate the negotiators and their leaders who continue to work and persevere and to prevail over the enemies of peace, including some who are willing to use terror to try to derail the peace process.
At the request of the parties, I have gladly agreed to host a signing ceremony at the White House on September the 28th. We will also be inviting other regional leaders and, obviously, other interested parties who have to be involved in this entire venture a success. But this is a good day for peace in the Middle East, and a good omen for good steps in the future.
Q What do you think the impact will be on the hope for a comprehensive Middle East peace between Israel and all of its Arab neighbors?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't think it can be anything but positive. But we've learned from experience to take these things one at a time, and to hammer out step-by-step progress and not to read too much into it. But I feel quite good about this; this is a major step. And, as you know from your own observations, they have worked very hard over some very contentious issues that were quite difficult and complex. And I've been encouraged by what I've heard this morning about the progress that's been made.
9:54 A.M. EDT