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                    Office of the Press Secretary
                        (Aboard Air Force One)
For Immediate Release                                      July 23, 1999


Hillary and I were deeply saddened to learn that His Majesty King Hassan II of Morocco has passed away. The prayers of all Americans go out to the Royal Family and the people of Morocco.

Over his 38-year reign, King Hassan II demonstrated time and again his leadership, his courage and his willingness to embrace change. He worked tirelessly to promote the welfare of his people, and in recent years he took important steps to deepen freedom in his country.

He offered wise counsel to every U.S. President since John F. Kennedy. He worked to break down barriers among the peoples of the Middle East, bravely opening a dialogue with Israel, helping to arrange President Sadat's historic journey to Jerusalem, seeking greater tolerance and stability across the region.

Hillary had the honor of being his guest just a few months ago. We will never forget his extraordinary hospitality, nor the many times he stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States.

King Sidi Mohammed and the Moroccan people can continue to count on the support of the United States. To King Sidi Mohammed, to the rest of the Royal Family, and to the people of Morocco, Hillary and I send our heartfelt condolences.

The Middle East has lost one of its greatest peacemakers. In his honor, we must rededicate ourselves to fulfilling his vision: a just and lasting peace for all the Middle East's children.

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