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President Clinton and President Hosni Mubarak


Office of the Press Secretary (Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt)

For Immediate Release October 17, 2000


Jolie Ville Golf Resort Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

1:43 P.M. (L)

PRESIDENT MUBARAK: In the name of God Almighty; to His Excellency, Bill Clinton; His Highness, King Abdullah; Your Majesty, King Hussein; His Excellency, Prime Minister Barak; Mr. Chairman Arafat; U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan; Mr. Javier Solana, high representative of the European Union: we spent the past two days since we started our summit in constructive discussions and extensive dialogue about all the aspects of the escalating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories -- discussions aimed at restoring the situation back to normal, through withdrawing the occupying forces, lifting the blockade, putting an end to violent acts -- taking measures aiming at restoring trust and confidence to the two Palestinian and Israeli sides, with a view to resuming the peace efforts after the situation is stabilized in the region.

Before I give the floor to His Excellency, President Bill Clinton, the President of the United States of America, in his capacity as the key sponsor of the peace process, to present his report on the outcome of our relentless efforts over the two days, I would like to stress the fact -- I would like to stress a number of key points that we should take into account in the stage to come.

First, the outcome we have reached in this summit may not meet the expectations of all peoples. However, they constitute at the same time a basis on which we can build, if we have good intentions, and if the real desire to achieve peace is there.

Secondly, the most important thing in the vision of all peoples in the days to come is the extent to which the two parties are committed to implement what has been agreed upon precisely, and how far they are willing to push the peace process forward. Hence, the following days will witness redeployment of the Israeli forces, lift the blockade imposed on three million Palestinian people, reopening airports, ports, crossing points, in order to pacify the Palestinian streets and bring matters back to normal.

Number three, our ultimate objective must and will be reaching a just and comprehensive peace. We do appreciate the leading role assumed by the United States of America, the key sponsor of the peace process, and the sponsorship of Mr. Bill Clinton. And we highly commend the role he assumed, including his strenuous efforts he exerted during this summit, which were crowned in reaching an agreement.

It's my fervent hope that the peace process will go on as planned, and that we avoid having recourse to provocative acts, confrontations. Rather, we have to establish a constructive dialogue in order to settle all the unresolved problems, to arrive at a peace agreement in a context of full respect of religious sanctities, and the right of peoples to live in peace and stability.

And now I give the floor to His Excellency, President Bill Clinton, the President of the United States of America.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: First of all, I want to thank President Mubarak and his able team for making it possible for us to have this meeting that we have held in this magnificent and beautiful place. I especially want to thank President Mubarak for Egypt's consistent and pivotal partnership in the peace process and for playing a critical role in our efforts here. I also want to thank His Majesty King Abdullah for his steadfast leadership for peace, which again was in evidence.

I would like to thank the E.U. High Commissioner Javier Solana, my longtime friend, who worked with me to bring an end to violence in the Balkans, and now is working in the Middle East. And especially I want to thank Secretary General Kofi Annan, who has been here now in the region for more than a week, and who has worked tirelessly to bring an end to violence and to make this meeting possible.

But of course, the greatest credit for the progress we have made today belongs to Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat, who have had to overcome the difficulties of these last several days. And we all recognize that theirs was the primary decision to make.

Our meeting has not been easy because the last two weeks have been so hard. A tragic and terrible confrontation costing many lives and injuries, threatening everything that we have worked to achieve between Israelis and Palestinians and throughout the region and over the past seven years now.

Even as we meet, the situation in the territories remains tense. Yesterday again was violent.

This is a reminder of the urgency of breaking the cycle of violence. I believe we have made real progress today. Repairing the damage will take time and great effort by all of us.

When we leave here today, we will have to work hard to consolidate what we have agreed. Let me summarize what has been agreed so there will be no misunderstanding.

Our primary objective has been to end the current violence so we can begin again to resume our efforts towards peace. The leaders have agreed on three basic objectives and steps to realize them.

First, both sides have agreed to issue public statements unequivocally calling for an end of violence. They also agreed to take immediate, concrete measures to end the current confrontation, eliminate points of friction, ensure an end to violence and incitement, maintain calm, and prevent recurrence of recent events.

To accomplish this, both sides will act immediately to return the situation to that which existed prior to the current crisis, in areas such as restoring law and order, redeployment of forces, eliminating points of friction, enhancing security cooperation, and ending the closure and opening the Gaza airport. The United States will facilitate security cooperation between the parties as needed.

Second, the United States will develop with the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as in consultation with the United Nations Secretary General, a committee of fact-finding on the events of the past several weeks and how to prevent their recurrence. The committee's report will be shared by the U.S. President with the U.N. Secretary General and the parties prior to publication. A final report shall be submitted under the auspices of the U.S. President for publication.

Third, if we are to address the underlying roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there must be a pathway back to negotiations and a resumption of efforts to reach a permanent status agreement based on the U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and subsequent understandings. Toward this end, the leaders have agreed that the United States would consult with the parties within the next two weeks about how to move forward.

We have made important commitments here today against the backdrop of tragedy and crisis. We should have no illusions about the difficulties ahead.

If we are going to rebuild confidence and trust, we must all do our part, avoiding recrimination and moving forward. I'm counting on each of us to do everything we possibly can in the critical period ahead.

I am sure it will be a disappointment to some of you, but one of the things that all the leaders agreed was that our statement should stand on its own and we should begin by promoting reconciliation and avoiding conflict by forgoing questions today.

Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT MUBARAK: [In Arabic] -- Bill Clinton, for your statement and the speech you just made. And there is no time whatsoever to respond to any media conferences. I declare this summit adjourned.

END 1:55 P.M. (L)

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