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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 1, 1998


                             On the Visit of 
             His Highness Shaikh Essa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa,
                    the Amir of the State of Bahrain

                             Washington, D.C.
                               June 1, 1998

President Clinton received His Highness Shaikh Essa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the Amir of the State of Bahrain at the White House on June 1, 1998. The Amir's visit reflects the close and long-standing relationship between the State of Bahrain and the United States of America as well as the commitment of both governments to high-level consultations on a broad range of issues of mutual interest.

The President and the Amir discussed the deep and enduring ties between their two nations, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. Navy's relationship with Bahrain and the one hundredth anniversary of the American hospital in Bahrain. The President recognized the United States' historic friendship with Bahrain and underscored our commitment to build on this strong foundation of partnership by continuing this close relationship into the twenty-first century.

The two parties discussed issues of mutual concern, focusing particularly on their shared commitment to peace, security and stability in the Middle East. Both His Highness and the President pledged to continue their close cooperation in pursuit of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of land for peace. The President reviewed America's ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the peace process. Bahrain expressed its respect and appreciation for these efforts. Both sides agreed that the best way to achieve the peace so greatly desired is by the full implementation of each side's obligations under the Oslo and Washington Accords. The two sides recognized the importance of resuming negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks as soon as possible and expressed their support for the implementation of Resolutions 425 and 426.

The President and the Amir discussed the situation in the Gulf, affirming their shared commitment to upholding regional security in the face of external threats. Both sides recognized the importance of stable boundaries between states, and emphasized the need to resolve the outstanding territorial disputes throughout the region by peaceful and legitimate means acceptable to the parties.

The United States and Bahrain call upon Iraq to fully implement all Security Council resolutions including full disclosure of its Weapons of Mass Destruction. As members of the Security Council, Bahrain and the United States continue to support the mission and functioning of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM). Both governments expressed great sympathy for the Iraqi people and call upon Iraq to comply fully with all United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The two sides agreed that UN Security Council Resolutions must be enforced and made clear that the Iraqi government bears sole responsibility for the misery of the Iraqi people. They welcomed the adoption of Resolution 1153 to expand humanitarian assistance and to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people.

The two sides reviewed with interest recent developments regarding Iranian policy and welcomed the emerging moderate tone in Iran's statements. They looked forward to seeing Iranian substantive policies consistent with these statements and conducive to the improvement of Iran's relations with neighboring states and with the international community. They agreed that Iran's continuing commitment to the principle of non-interference in the affairs of neighboring states will reflect on Tehran's interest in promoting peace and security in the region.

President Clinton and His Highness reviewed international economic developments and agreed to continue their close consultations on means to improve opportunities for trade and investment in the region. The United States recognized the potential of Bahrain's economy due to its highly developed infrastructure and suitable environment for investment opportunities. They agreed to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the United States Economic Dialogue with the Gulf Cooperation Council to advance progress and prosperity throughout the region.

The United States and Bahrain expressed their concern at the increased risk of a nuclear arms race escalating and urged India, Pakistan and other non-signatory countries to accede to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) without conditions. The United States and Bahrain also call on the Governments of India and Pakistan to announce a moratorium on future tests and experimentation on delivery systems. The Amir expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality accorded to him and to his accompanying delegation by President Clinton during the visit. The President conveyed the warm greetings and best wishes of the American people to the citizens of Bahrain and wished His Highness good health and long life. His Highness the Amir extended an invitation to President Clinton to pay an official visit to the State of Bahrain.

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