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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 29, 1999

President Clinton: Providing Strong Leadership At Home And Abroad

November 29, 1999

This month, President Clinton's strong leadership in both domestic and foreign affairs was clear. The President: reached a budget agreement that reflected his priorities and the American people's values; brokered an historic agreement to bring China into the World Trade Organization and rules-based trade; put the Good Friday Peace Accords back on track in Northern Ireland; brokered an agreement for peace talks between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus, and signed an agreement that will improve US energy security through the building of a Caspian energy pipeline.

The Budget Agreement: A Hard Fought Victory for the American People President Clinton insisted that Congress keep working on its budget until key priorities were addressed, including maintaining fiscal discipline, paying down the debt, and making investments in our people. This budget reflects all of those priorities. The President won:

A victory for our children with investment in 100,000 new qualified teachers to reduce class size.

A victory for safer neighborhoods with investment in up to 50,000 new police officers.

A victory for a cleaner environment through investment in the President's "Lands Legacy" initiative to preserve natural areas and removal of anti-environmental "riders."

A victory for Americans with disabilities through passage of the Jeffords-Kennedy-Roth-Moynihan legislation allowing Americans with disabilities to rejoin the work force without losing health care.

A victory for American national interests through payment of UN dues and investment in the Middle East peace process, safeguarding of nuclear arms, and debt relief for impoverished nations.

China-WTO Agreement: An Historic Trade Agreement with China For 13 years, the United States has been working to bring China into the system of rules-based trade. Earlier this month, the team of negotiators President Clinton dispatched to China reached an historic agreement paving the way for China to join the World Trade Organization. The agreement furthers US economic interests, opening Chinese markets to American goods, slashing Chinese tariffs, leveling the playing field for American businesses and protecting American workers from dumping. The deal also promotes US national security interests, opening Chinese society to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Northern Ireland: Putting the Good Friday Peace Accords Back on Track After months of stalemate and painstaking negotiation, the President Clinton's Representative to the Northern Ireland peace talks, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, announced a significant breakthrough this week. The blueprint for peace announced by Senator Mitchell will lead to the formation of shared political institutions and the start of the disarmament process at the earliest possible date. The Good Friday Peace Accords are back on track.

Cyprus: Brokering an Agreement for New Peace Talks Settling the decades long-conflict between our two allies, Turkey and Greece, over the political status of Cyprus is a high priority on the President's foreign policy agenda. Tireless mediation -- and President Clinton's personal involvement -- bore fruit last week as leaders from both sides agreed the peace talks. Due to President Clinton's leadership, there is new hope for peace in Cyprus.

Caspian Oil Pipeline: Signing an Agreement to Strengthen Energy Security The Clinton Administration has worked since 1994 to develop secure energy and gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean to ensure that Americans have access to these important energy resources. Last week, President Clinton brokered a landmark agreement that takes an important step towards this goal. The agreement signed in Istanbul, Turkey ensures the free flow of oil and gas to the world market, offers new commercial opportunities for U.S. companies, enhances cooperation among the countries of the region, and provides an environmentally safer way to transport oil and gas.