THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Birmingham, England) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 15, 1998
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRESIDENT CHIRAC OF FRANCE IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Swallow Hotel Birmingham, England
1:52 P.M. (L)
Q Mr. President, will you be trying to persuade the other summit leaders to impose sanctions on India?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: First of all, I would like to thank President and Mrs. Chirac for the wonderful reception that Hillary has received in France. She was there for a couple of days, she was able to go out with Mrs. Chirac to her constituency. And she called me last night very, very excited and very pleased. And I thank you for your hospitality. That's wonderful.
PRESIDENT CHIRAC: The visit -- was simply fascinating, as we heard. And I certainly agree with that.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: We're going to discuss this. As you know, I think it's important and we take a clear position. I hope we can convince Pakistan not to engage in testing. I'd like everyone to sign on to the Comprehensive Test Ban and work together to reduce the nuclear threat. There are ways for a great nation to preserve its security without nuclear weapons and that's what I want to focus on.
Q Mr. President, there were eight people killed on the West Bank. Is that a sign people are losing hope in the peace process there and what can you do?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, we know there's a lot of frustration there, and I regret very much the loss of life as well as the tensions which occurred there. I saw the -- all I know is what I saw on the television last night. But, for me, the larger lesson is that delay is not the friend of peace, and that we need to work very hard. I'm encouraged that Secretary Albright and Prime Minister Netanyahu are still working, and we need, I think of all us, to try to come to terms with the difficult issues that would at least get the parties into the final status talks.
We have been more than a year now without any substantial progress. And I think the larger message here, apart from the tragedies involved for everybody, is that delay is not the friend of the peace process. It's time to move.
Q (Spoken in French.)
PRESIDENT CHIRAC: Well, of course, we would like to have a peaceful solution to the Indonesian crisis. All the more, considering that Indonesia needs the international community in order to overcome the financial crisis. And, of course, we will encourage fully any solution that would be liable to settle the political crisis in Indonesia.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Let me say, first, we have been working since last November with President Suharto and with Indonesia to try to work through the financial crisis. The IMF has modified its plan on a couple of occasions to try to make it possible to have both reform and to minimize the harm to ordinary citizens in Indonesia.
In terms of who should govern Indonesia, that is a question for the Indonesians to decide, not the G-8. But I do believe that resolving the crisis now requires not only economic reform, but also a genuine dialogue between the government and all the elements in society to try to determine how they should go forward. That, to me, is the most important thing. The result of that dialogue is for them to decide, not us.
Q Mr. President, how is your back?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Great. Much better today.
END 1:57 P.M. (L)