THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt)
BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY
March 13, 1996
Ghazala Hotel Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt
9:15 A.M. (L)
MR. MCCURRY: Good morning, everybody. Let me just check in with everyone and make sure that you're all comfortably situated here in beautiful Sharm al-Sheikh.
The President of the United States arrived a short while ago here. He met for about an hour with President Mubarak as the co-hosts of today's international Summit of the Peacemakers. Both President wanted to review the agenda for today, review some of the discussion points that they expect to cover both during the public session when each individual leader will speak and then some of the points that they would like to address in private.
They spent a considerable time working on the Chairmen's Statement that the two of them will read to all of you this afternoon. There's been a great deal of work done on that document. We believe that that is developing as a very significant and important statement both in support of the peace process itself and in the work the international community can do to combat terror.
The general overview of what we expect to come out of the discussions today is covered in the briefing I did at the White House yesterday, and there are transcripts of that available so I won't repeat all that. I'll tell you that in a short while the President will be meeting with Prime Minister Peres. He will then see President Yeltsin. And that's all prior to the official commencement of the summit at 11:00 a.m. this morning.
Beyond that, I don't know that there's a lot more to add. You'll get a pool report from your Air Force One pool. They met on board en route here with King Hussein and with President Clinton, who shared a lovely 11-hour flight together. And there's some nice little tidbits about the King comparing the 747 to the L-1011 that he himself pilots around the world.
He was in the cockpit for takeoff, but did not attempt to wrest control of the plane from the United States Air Force, which is probably wise on the King's part. (Laughter.) But there's more color of that nature in the pool report that will be distributed shortly.
Any other questions? Here's our plan for the day. We will -- as I just did with President Mubarak, give you a very brief sense of some of the meetings that he held. And then tonight in Jerusalem, I expect some combination of all of us, including Ambassador Ross, to give you a much more detailed readout on the entire day. In Jerusalem, so it will be within filing time for just about everybody. We'll give you some updates as we go during the day.
Nick, David, can you add any to that? Our thanks to our State Department colleagues and to Mr. Johnson for keeping you all occupied on the flight over.
Any questions before we --
Q Mike, given the nature of this, why doesn't the President meet with Arafat?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm sorry, he will be meeting -- let me just run through the rest of the day. It's in the statement that you will get later. After the conference this afternoon he will meet with King Hassan and with Chairman Arafat.
Q King Hassan of Morocco?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes. King Hassan. He'll also have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Major before leaving. And as I say, we will try to keep -- at least keep the pool apprised of some of these meetings as they occur and the key points covered, and then, of course, we'll do a more elaborate readout later in the day.
Q -- King Hussein with President Clinton -- at the arrival?
MR. MCCURRY: He was in the United States, and both for logistic reasons and for symbolic reasons, the President felt it was very appropriate to invite the King to accompany him here to Egypt.
The King also made sure that we didn't get lost. They had breakfast together and the King pulled out his map -- pulled out the map they had and kind of showed the President where they were flying. I think he was rather familiar with the air route that we flew into Sharm al-Sheikh.
Q -- any details about the meeting with Mubarak?
MR. MCCURRY: No, details will be abundantly clear at the time that they read the Chairmen's Statement later today.
Q -- the draftsmanship of the statement together -- they sat down and --
MR. MCCURRY: There's been work on that all evening long en route; a number of conversations by telephone back and forth. They reviewed a couple of key points that will be addressed later today in the Chairmen's Statement.
Q There are reports coming out of Jerusalem about the -- of the final declaration, Israel and the United States and Egypt having problems about that.
MR. MCCURRY: It looked to me like things were falling in place pretty nicely, so I'm not aware of those reports.
Q -- the United States would like to have --
MR. MCCURRY: We'll do that later today. The general tone and flavor of what we would like to see will be addressed later at the Chairmen's Statement.
Q Any change in Syria --
MR. MCCURRY: Not that I've heard, no. You all have been here sooner. I haven't heard of any change in their previously announced position.
Okay, very good. At least keep looking for pool reports because I think that's going to be -- we're sort of a little bit distance away, so that might be the best way for us to keep apprised of what's developing during the day.
END 9:20 A.M. (L)