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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Santiago, Chile)
For Immediate Release                                     April 16, 1998
                          AT SIGNING CEREMONY

                               La Moneda
                            Santiago, Chile    

12:29 P.M. (L)

PRESIDENT FREI: Good afternoon. I would first like to emphasize that it has been a great pleasure to welcome President Clinton to our country, together with Mrs. Clinton and the distinguished delegation accompanying them.

In February '97, I had the honor of paying an extremely satisfying and productive state visit to the United States. I was given a particularly warm welcome in that country, demonstrating the appreciation and respect felt there for Chile. Today I'm gratified to be able to return that invitation and to receive you in la Moneda, the house that belongs to all Chileans.

This exchange of visits reflects the new level of maturity that relations between our two countries have achieved. We share a common democratic vocation. Both the Chilean and U.S. economies are enjoying strong growth rates and are successfully confronting the challenges of globalization. Both countries are undertaking important reforms aimed at achieving greater social equity and equality of opportunity for our people. We belong to the same continent, and we are engaged in working together towards the establishment of a new hemispheric community.

I would like to recall here that it fell to our two countries to lead the preparatory efforts for the second Summit of the Americas, which will be inaugurated this Saturday in Santiago. We have achieved optimal coordination, facilitated by the support that we have obtained from many of our sister countries in the hemisphere.

This morning our ministers signed an agreement between our two international cooperation agencies to support the fulfillment of some of the initiatives established in the summit plan of action.

I have to say that this morning we have had a long and productive meeting with President Clinton. It was a very frank, open and candid meeting. We reviewed all the issues involved in bilateral relations. Each item of our bilateral relations we discussed. And also, it is with great pleasure that I say that we found several common issues for the whole hemisphere, a commonality of ideas that allow us to work ever stronger together.

As well, we have signed a joint declaration. And this joint declaration summarizes everything we have discussed and all the issues in common. At the same time, in parallel, the ministers held a meeting in which they signed seven agreements: one on education, on trade, investments, environment -- protection of the environment, protection against disasters, information promotion -- seven documents which embody our bilateral relations. And these document involve very concrete, very specific subjects which affect and impact our common ordinary citizen in everyday life.

It has not been a meeting dealing with abstract issues, not at all. These issues are targeting an improvement of the quality of their lives, a struggle against drug traffic and a series of promotion of information and exchange.

The visit of President Clinton is just beginning. In a short while we will be visiting a district, at Comuna, where we will talk and have dialogue with the citizens. Later on, there will be an evening with businessmen. Then, tonight, a state dinner, and tomorrow, President Clinton will visit Congress. After that, also we will meet in Vina del Mar. And this visit is absolute proof of the consolidation of our relations, this that will be projected into the future that will make fluent our dialogue and our interchanges.

Finally, I would like to say that Chile and the United States both, we are preparing together the road to the 21st century -- a century in which we will be faced with enormous challenges; we will be faced with the globalization of markets, and thus we will be working for peace, for democracy, and for the dignity of man.

It is these values and these realities that bring us together. And it is that which will make the relations between both of us one of the present, but not so much of this present day, but rather a relation working for the future. And it is in this environment that we will open the second Summit of the Americas. It will be how the whole continent, how America will be facing the next century.

Welcome once again, President Clinton, to this country, to this house, the home of the presidents. Your historic visit is a point of tremendous inflection in our relations from here into the future.

Thank you. (Applause.)

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Mr. President, members of the Chilean government, members of our American delegate, ladies and gentlemen: Just over a year ago it was my great honor to host President Frei at the White House. Now I come to Chile to build on our friendship, to deepen our progress in creating a better future for all our people.

As the tides of change have swept over our hemisphere over the past 15 years, Chile has set an impressive standard in strengthening its democracy, opening its economy, lifting its people from poverty. As Chile's stability and prosperity have grown, it has become a leader in our hemisphere, and an even stronger partner and friend for the United States.

Today we resolved to strengthen the ties that bind us together and to harness the powerful forces of change to benefit all our citizens in the new century. We have created a new, broader Joint Trade and Investment Commission to keep our economic relations on a mutually beneficial path, by boosting prosperity and jobs in both our countries, addressing new areas such as electronic commerce and resolving disputes when they arise. We look forward to concluding as soon as possible a new open skies agreement to help our trade literally take off, with better services, more flights, lower prices for passengers and shippers alike.

We addressed the crucial importance of strong financial safeguards and openness, a shield against the shock of market volatility. Our banking officials will be strengthening their cooperation and regulating banks that do business across our borders, which will improve financial security and increase the confidence of investors.

We resolved to work harder to extend the practical benefits of open markets and free trade to all of our people. In that regard, nothing is more important than education. I want to applaud you, Mr. President, for your commitment to education, both here at home and across the Americas. Building on the Fulbright agreement we signed last year, the United States and Chile will deepen our cooperation in education -- increasing exchanges of students and teachers, developing high standards for learning and teacher training, bringing technology to every classroom, so that every child, no matter where he or she may live, can explore the world of information now available with the stroke of a computer keyboard.

And we have resolved to work together, through the Summit of the Americas, to help other nations advance their own reforms. This is truly a laudable agenda, for which you, Mr. President, will long be remembered.

We have also signed a GLOBE agreement to help our children learn more about our environment. Through this program, Chilean students will be linked through the Internet to tens of thousands of other young people in 65 nations. Together, they will share information about science and ecology, and learn how to help build a healthier planet.

We have also agreed to work together to create a pan-American climate forecasting system. We know from the last year that is more important than ever. By using the latest technology and skills, we can better predict and better prepare for disruptive weather systems like El Nino. We also agreed to work together to meet the challenge of climate change and global warming caused by growing emissions of greenhouse gases.

I applaud President Frei for affirming today that all countries have an important role to play. Developed countries must lead the way in reducing our emissions. Developing countries should participate meaningfully, also taking on emissions targets whenever possible. Together we can chart an energy course for the future that allows both strong economic growth and strong environmental safeguards to go forward hand in hand.

I know this is a matter of some controversy throughout Latin America, and, indeed, throughout many developing nations. But I can tell you from America's own experience, for 30 years, every time we have sought to improve our environment someone has said, oh, this is going to slow the growth of the economy. And every time we have improved our environment, it has speeded up the growth of the American economy by creating new jobs in new areas -- so that we see clearly that the steps we take to preserve and, indeed, to enhance our environment will, in fact, lead to broader, stronger, deeper economic growth. That is the path I hope and pray the United States and Chile will chart together into the future.

Mr. President, our increasing cooperation in all these areas and all the things that you mentioned is a real testament to the astonishing record established by Chile in the last few years in economic and in political terms. The leadership you are showing now in the hemisphere for peace and prosperity and freedom is a natural outgrowth of the leadership you have demonstrated and that the Chilean people have demonstrated within your own borders. It is altogether fitting that the spirit of hemispheric cooperation and the future orientation of our cooperation, which was established four years ago at Miami, should be carried on under your leadership here at Santiago.

It is clear to anyone who imagines the way the future should be that our burdens will be lighter and our strides will be longer if we move forward together. That is the promise of our growing partnership. And you have the thanks, the respect, and the admiration of the American people for your role in it.

Thank you, sir. (Applause.)

END 12:46 P.M. (L)