VOLUME 6, NUMBER 33, AUGUST 14, 1995 
1. U.S.-Vietnam Relations: A New Chapter--Secretary Christopher 
2. The U.S. and Vietnam: Establishing Diplomatic Relations--Secretary 
3. Reaffirming U.S. Commitment to Democracy And Reconstruction in 
Cambodia--Secretary Christopher  
4. The United States and Malaysia: A Dynamic Relationship--Secretary 
5. U.S. Policy in the Middle East--Robert H. Pelletreau  
U.S.-Vietnam Relations: A New Chapter 
Secretary Christopher 
Address to the youth of Vietnam, Institute for International Relations, 
Hanoi, Vietnam, August 6, 1995 
Thank you, Director-General Ngoc, for that kind introduction. It is a 
pleasure to be here with Vice Minister Le Mai and other distinguished 
guests. I am grateful to the Institute for International Relations for 
helping to organize this event. The staff and students of the Institute 
are playing an important part in charting a broader role for Vietnam as 
it continues to integrate itself into Asia and the world. 
I have come to Vietnam on behalf of President Clinton and the American 
people to begin a new chapter in the relationship between our nations. 
And I have come here this afternoon to speak directly to the people of 
Vietnam about the future that I hope we can share together. 
I am especially pleased to be able to address an audience that includes 
so many students and young people. One of the startling facts about 
Vietnam is that three-fifths of your countrymen and women are under 25 
years of age. Vietnam is an old country, but a young nation. Its future, 
and its evolving place in the community of nations, are yours to shape.  
This is the first generation of Vietnamese students in many decades to 
enter adulthood informed by the memory of war, but inspired by the 
promise of peace. This is what I know you call the "peace generation"--
the first that can devote all its energies to renovation at home, and to 
cooperation with your neighbors and the world. Without forgetting the 
past, or abandoning tradition, you have a chance to help your country 
move forward with greater freedom and greater prosperity. 
The ties between the United States and Vietnam reach back further than 
you might think: Way back in 1787, Thomas Jefferson, a champion of 
liberty, as well as a man of science, tried to obtain rice seed from 
Vietnam for his farm in Virginia. Fifteen years later, when Jefferson 
was President of the United States, the first American merchant ship 
sailed into a Vietnamese port. Almost 150 years later, Jefferson's words 
that "all men are created equal" were echoed in Vietnam's own 
declaration of independence. 
Because of the war American troops fought on your soil, I have no doubt 
that American history books will always include a chapter on Vietnam--
just as Vietnamese history books will surely include a chapter on 
America. Today, our people are still scarred by the war. But let us 
remember that history is a work in progress. That bitter past has also 
planted the seeds for a better future. 
More than 3 million Americans served in Vietnam. Even amidst the death 
and destruction of war, many came to appreciate the culture of your 
people and the beauty of this land. 
We have other bonds as well. The 1 million people of Vietnamese origin 
who now live in the United States can also be a bridge for 
reconciliation and cooperation between our two countries. Just south of 
my home city of Los Angeles, California, there is a place called "Little 
Saigon," where Buddhist temples and neighborhood groceries selling rau 
muong co-exist with the freeways and shopping malls of southern 
California. And when I look out my window from the State Department in 
Washington, I can see across the river to Arlington, Virginia--a 
historic old American community and also a vibrant new center of 
Vietnamese culture and commerce. Indeed, the United States has been 
enriched by our Vietnamese-Americans, one of the most successful 
immigrant groups in our recent history. 
Yet apart from visits by returning veterans and family members, there 
has been little direct contact between our two countries over the last 
20 years. I know these have been difficult years for Vietnam--years of 
economic hardship and until recently, years of conflict. But we have now 
reached a time of promise and a time of change. We still have history to 
make, a new chapter to write in the history we share. 
A month ago, President Clinton decided the time had come to normalize 
diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. He was 
supported in this decision by a majority of the American people and by 
an important group of American veterans who had served here during the 
war and who now serve in the United States Congress. The President 
believes, as do they, that closer ties are in the interest of both our 
nations. The diplomatic relations we initiated yesterday will help us to 
fully account for those who sacrificed in the past, and will also allow 
our countries to work together on behalf of regional prosperity and 
regional security. 
Our most important priority in restoring ties with Vietnam is to 
determine the fate of each American who did not return from the war. 
Each soldier who was lost remains cherished, with a name, a family, and 
a nation that cares. There should be the fullest possible accounting for 
each one. This is a solemn pledge my government has made to the American 
people. Fulfilling it remains the key to a closer relationship between 
our two countries. 
I want to thank the Vietnamese officials, veterans, and citizens who 
have helped us find answers, by sharing their memories of the war and by 
leading us to crash sites and burial grounds. They have come forward 
time and again to help Americans ease our sense of loss. I know that the 
people of Vietnam have endured great losses as well. That is why the 
United States has released thousands of documents to help the Vietnamese 
authorities search for those of your countrymen who are still missing in 
action. And that is why we have funded humanitarian projects for war 
Of course, we cannot heal every wound or settle every debate from the 
past. We will leave that to students of history and to future 
generations. This moment belongs to the families looking for answers 
about lost loved ones and to the Vietnamese villagers who have given 
them a helping hand. It belongs to the American veterans who have 
returned to this country to provide prosthetics to victims of the war 
and to the Vietnamese veterans who welcome them as friends. It belongs 
to the entrepreneurs who are rebuilding this country, now that it is 
finally at peace. It belongs to the students such as you who question 
old assumptions and embrace new ways of thinking. As the great 
Vietnamese poet and statesman Nguyen Trai put it 500 years ago: "After 
so many years of war, only life remains." 
After so many years of war and turmoil, Vietnam is turning its face to a 
changed world. Colonial empires have vanished, and the age of 
independence struggles is over. In the last two decades, 45 more 
sovereign countries have emerged. But it is not only new nations that 
have been born and maps that have been redrawn. A powerful revolution of 
ideas has swept the world. Indeed, the main story of the late 20th 
century is the ascendancy of open societies and open markets in country 
after country, which has the effect of lifting the lives of hundreds of 
millions of people. 
Today in the Western Hemisphere, for example, every nation but one has a 
freely elected government and a market economy. After decades of 
struggle, South Africa is now a multi-racial democracy. The former 
Soviet Union has also been transformed. In Europe, the fastest-growing 
economies are those Eastern nations that moved most decisively toward 
economic and political reform. 
Communications technology is pushing the expansion of freedom for the 
individual at the same time as it is shrinking the distances between 
nations. This speech, for example, will be broadcast back to the United 
States by satellite. Through the Internet, it will be available to 
almost anyone in the world with a computer and a phone line. Governments 
cannot control the movement of ideas in this Information Age, even if 
they want to.  
Consider how much Southeast Asia has changed as well. New civilian 
governments have been freely elected in Thailand, Cambodia, and the 
Philippines. Nations such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia are 10 to 
20 times wealthier today than they were in 1965. My visit this last week 
to    Kuala Lumpur underscored for me the enormous scale and dynamism of 
this region's transformation.  
Because of these remarkable changes, America's relationship with the 
nations of Southeast Asia has been transformed as well. Twenty-five 
years ago, the largest American communities in the region revolved 
around military bases. The United States has vital military alliances 
and a substantial military presence in the region that are widely 
welcomed. Our security presence will continue to provide the stability 
and reassurance necessary for sustained economic growth. But today, 
American communities in the region also revolve around Chambers of 
Commerce and universities. The most common interaction across the 
Pacific takes place today among private citizens--among business people, 
scholars, and tourists. I believe that these currents of culture and 
commerce are bringing us closer to a New Pacific Community stretching 
from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur. 
Vietnam is now moving rapidly into the mainstream of Southeast Asia. 
Last year, your country became a founding member of the ASEAN Regional 
Forum, the region's first multinational dialogue on security issues. 
This year, Vietnam has joined ASEAN itself. As its economy opens further 
and its laws governing trade and investment develop, Vietnam will be in 
a position to join its Southeast Asian neighbors in the Asia-Pacific 
Economic Cooperation forum and the new World Trade Organization. We want 
Vietnam to enjoy the benefits and to assume the obligations that go with 
belonging to these important international institutions. 
With the Cold War over, we view Vietnam as the product of its own 
history and the master of its own destiny. As many in your country and 
ours have urged, we look on Vietnam "as a country, not a war." We view 
it as a nation with immense potential as a partner in trade and in 
The process of establishing normal economic ties with the United States 
will take time. But we are prepared to move forward. We will do so in 
consultation with our Congress and consistent with our laws. The first 
step, the first building-block, in expanding our commercial relations is 
to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement that will provide for most-
favored-nation trading status. Our goal is to develop with Vietnam the 
same full range of economic relationships that we enjoy with your 
Southeast Asian neighbors. 
I hope that many more Americans will join companies such as Ford, Coca-
Cola, and Baskin-Robbins in betting on Vietnam's future. I also hope 
that more private American organizations will join groups such as the 
Ford Foundation and World Vision in supporting Vietnam's development. I 
hope that more Vietnamese students will come   to study in the United 
States, to join the 66 already participating in the Fulbright 
scholarship program.  
There is a great deal our governments can do together. Through the ASEAN 
Regional Forum, for example, we can strive with others to assure 
stability in Southeast Asia. One of the key issues is the South China 
Sea, a vital sea lane through which one-quarter of the world's ocean 
freight passes. The United States will continue to urge countries with 
competing claims to resources there to resolve their disputes through 
Together, the United States, Vietnam, and its neighbors have an interest 
in cooperating to fight narcotics trafficking. Southeast Asia is the 
biggest source of heroin arriving on American shores. This deadly drug 
is ruining lives in the countries through which it passes, including 
We have also started and will continue having a dialogue with Vietnam on 
human rights issues that are of great importance to the American people. 
Progress in this dialogue will enable our two nations to further deepen 
our ties. 
This is a time of great possibility for our relations with Vietnam, for 
your country's continued growth and its integration in the region. But 
while further progress is possible, it is not guaranteed. If Vietnam is 
to find an important place in the community of nations and to attract 
additional investment, it should move beyond just opening its doors. The 
key to success in this rapidly changing world is the freedom to own, to 
buy, and to sell;   and the freedom to participate in the decisions that 
affect our lives. 
As your nation and leaders have recognized, free market reform is a 
necessary start. All over the world, courageous reformers have 
understood that command economies cannot bring prosperity to their 
people. Experience teaches that command economies cannot be dismantled 
piecemeal. I would ask you to look at economic reform as a passage over 
a ravine: You cannot do it by taking several little steps; only one 
giant leap will get you across. 
There are many different models of market economies. But whether you go 
to New York, or Tokyo, or Bangkok, you will find most of the 
fundamentals are the same. All these places have private property 
rights, protected by an independent judiciary, and with ownership 
clearly defined by law. In each, one can borrow capital, buy insurance, 
and freely exchange information. In each, efficiency, hard work, and 
imagination are rewarded, not discouraged. 
Vietnam has made great progress in creating these conditions, and the 
result has been stunning economic growth and a range of new 
opportunities. The policy of Doi Moi has been a tremendous success. But 
there is still much to be done to create an institutional framework in 
which a free market can flourish. Vietnamese entrepreneurs and foreign 
investors alike need a stronger system of private banking, and above 
all, less red tape and more transparency. 
In Vietnam, as everywhere, a free market is the basic precondition for a 
productive business environment. But I believe sustained economic 
development is more likely where additional factors are present--where 
courts provide due process, where newspapers are free to expose 
corruption, and where businesspeople can make decisions with free access 
to accurate information. The foundation of market economies--rights that 
protect contracts, property, and patents--can only be fully guaranteed 
by the rule of law. Indeed, the reality of Japan, Hong Kong, South 
Korea, and Thailand tells us that the rule of law and accountable 
government are the bedrock of stability and prosperity. The reality of 
Burma and North Korea tells us that repression entrenches poverty. 
Our conviction--that freedom is both practical and just--is neither 
Western nor Eastern. Most would agree with the 16th century Vietnamese 
poet who said that "the people are the roots of the nation." 
Each nation must find its own way consistent with its history and 
culture. The people of Vietnam, especially its young people, will choose 
their way. But that is just the point. For when you hear Americans talk 
about freedom and human rights, this is what we mean: Each of you ought 
to have the right to help shape your country's destiny, as well as your 
Today, the United States is embarking on a new relationship with your 
country, and most important, a new relationship with your people. There 
are issues on which we no doubt will disagree. But we have, I believe, a 
common vision of Vietnam taking its rightful place in a community of 
Southeast Asian nations--a community that is more open, more prosperous, 
and more secure than ever before. For the first time in many years, we 
will have a normal relationship in which each of our nations can advance 
its interests in a climate of cooperation and in an age of peace. 
"Heaven has ushered in an era of renewal," says an inscription on 
Hanoi's Temple of Literature. Let us do all that we can together to 
seize this moment and to bring those immortal words to life. Thank you 
very much.  (###) 
The U.S. and Vietnam: Establishing Diplomatic Relations 
Secretary Christopher 
Arrival Remarks 
Remarks upon arrival, Hanoi, Vietnam, August 5, 1995. 
I have come to Vietnam, on behalf of the United States, to begin a new 
chapter in the history we share. As the first Secretary of State to 
visit Vietnam in a quarter-century, I am here to lay the basis for a 
better future, even as we continue to account for the past. 
Just moments ago, in dignity and calm, some of America's bravest men 
began their final journey home. My first act here was to pay tribute to 
these soldiers and to all those who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam. 
Every American is proud of and grateful to all those who served our 
country in this faraway land two decades ago. 
As President Clinton has emphasized, no issue has been more important in 
our relations with Vietnam than achieving the fullest possible 
accounting of our prisoners of war and missing in action. Let me be 
clear: This issue will remain the number one priority on our agenda with 
the Government of Vietnam. I will reinforce that message today and 
tomorrow in every meeting I have with the Vietnamese leadership, and in 
every public appearance I make. 
Tangible progress toward the fullest possible accounting has been the 
essential element of every decision that this Administration has taken 
toward Vietnam. It is what led us to ease restrictions on international 
lending to Vietnam in 1993. It is what prompted us to lift the trade 
embargo in February 1994. It is what persuaded President Clinton to 
establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam last month. We are convinced 
that normalizing relations is the best way to achieve additional 
progress in this solemn and sacred cause. 
The Vietnamese Government and people have extended crucial cooperation 
in this painstaking endeavor, and we are grateful for their help. We are 
confident that cooperation will continue. As President Clinton has 
emphasized, "Normalization of our relations with Vietnam is not the end 
of our effort. . . . We will keep working until we get all the answers 
we can." 
As we continue to make progress on accounting for our POWs and MIAs, we 
are also prepared to develop further our relations with Vietnam. Closer 
engagement is in America's interest, first and foremost to achieve the 
fullest possible accounting, but also because Vietnam is a vibrant 
country in a region of great importance to the United States. 
The world has been transformed in the last two decades. The spirit of 
reconciliation is building bridges of hope from Northern Ireland to 
South Africa to the Middle East. In that spirit, we can build a bridge 
of cooperation between America and Vietnam. 
A generation ago, the trauma of war bound together the history of our 
nations for all time. Let us now lay our past of conflict to rest, and 
dedicate ourselves to a future of productive cooperation. We can and 
should work together to improve human rights, to counter the scourge of 
illegal drugs, and to promote economic reform. We can reinforce regional 
peace and stability through the ASEAN Regional  Forum. Vietnam is poised 
to join the mainstream of the growing economies of East Asia. That will 
be in the interest of both our countries. 
Over the next two days, I will be discussing these and many other 
important issues with our Vietnamese hosts. I am honored to be here for 
this historic visit. Thank you very much. 
Signing Ceremony 
Remarks at signing ceremony for establishment of diplomatic relations, 
Vietnamese Government Guest House, Hanoi, Vietnam, August 5, 1995. 
Foreign Minister Cam, members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and 
their colleagues from the United States: It  is certainly a great 
pleasure, Mr. Minister, to exchange with you the documents that confirm 
the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and 
Today, with the stroke of a pen, we have vowed and pledged to establish 
a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries. 
After a decade of war and two decades of estrangement, the United States 
and Vietnam have concluded that the time has come to renew our ties and 
to move forward into this new era. 
This day has been made possible not only by our two governments, but by 
the many Vietnamese and many Americans who have worked together to 
account for missing United States service personnel. 
As President Clinton announced at the time he decided to normalize our 
relations on July 11, never before has such an extensive effort been 
made to account for soldiers, sailors, and others who did not come back-
-who did not come home from the war. 
On behalf of all the American people, let me express my gratitude to the 
many who have helped in this important and noble endeavor. 
As we account for the past, let us also build for the future. We share a 
common hope for a peaceful, prosperous Asia. We could and should work 
together on such issues as counter-narcotics, human rights, and ways to 
advance our economic interests. 
As the Minister said, through our joint participation in the ASEAN 
Regional Forum we have an opportunity to promote regional peace and 
Vietnamese membership in ASEAN is an important step toward the 
integration of Vietnam into the mainstream of Southeast Asia, which will 
be in the interest of this region, as well as our two countries. 
I look forward to working with the Minister to improve and develop our 
relationship in this new normalized state. 
Let me add that I have just informed the Minister and his colleagues 
that the United States will be sending here as Charge of our embassy one 
of our most experienced Foreign Service Officers--someone who knows this 
country and its language well. His name  is Desaix Anderson. He will 
serve as Charge, pending the nomination and confirmation of our 
Ambassador to Vietnam. Thank you.  
Establishment of U.S. Embassy 
Remarks at ceremony establishing the U.S. Embassy, Hanoi, Vietnam, 
August 6, 1995. 
We meet here today at a historic moment. Four decades ago in a quite 
different world, Americans closed the doors of the U.S. Consulate in 
Hanoi. In February of 1994 with the PresIdent's decision to open a 
liaison office, they returned to open the door to a better future. 
Today, on behalf of the President of the United States, we take a proud 
step through that door by raising the American flag here over the 
American Embassy in Hanoi. 
The President's decision to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam-
-like each step that has come before it in the last two years--has been 
guided by one clear objective: to determine the fate of our soldiers who 
never came home. We owe this to the men who sacrificed so much to serve 
their country, and we owe it to their families, who have borne the pain 
of uncertainty for such a long time. 
Our resolve to obtain the fullest possible accounting is producing 
results. We are expanding our presence here in Vietnam because we are 
confident that by doing so we will promote even greater progress in the 
solemn and sacred cause of a full accounting. In the six months since 
Jim Hall and his colleagues arrived, the liaison office has worked 
tirelessly to promote cooperation on POWs and MIAs. And I want to pay 
tribute to Jim and the staff here who have accomplished so much under 
the most difficult circumstances, working tirelessly and without 
In addition to the work that they have done in full accounting--which of 
course, was their highest priority--they have also provided services to 
more than 1,000 Americans here in Vietnam. They have promoted our 
economic interests and they have pursued an expanding dialogue with the 
Vietnamese authorities on such issues as counternarcotics, human rights, 
and other areas of vital importance to our two countries. 
Now with the upgrading of the liaison office to a full-fledged embassy, 
the scope and potential of our work can vastly expand. Of course, 
achieving the fullest possible accounting remains our top priority.  But 
by expanding the political and economic dimensions of our relationship, 
we will also advance America's interest in other ways. As President 
Clinton has said, by helping to bring Vietnam into the community of 
nations, normalization also serves our interest in working for a free 
and peaceful Vietnam in a stable and peaceful Asia. 
The process of integration of Vietnam into the Asian world, into the 
community of nations called ASEAN, is already fully under way. At the 
meeting in Brunei that I attended just a few days ago, Vietnam became a 
full member of ASEAN--a development which we believe will support the 
continued stability and growth in Southeast Asia. Now that both Vietnam 
and the United States are members of the ASEAN Regional Forum, we 
believe we have an important grouping which will encourage cooperation, 
and give us fuller opportunities for consultation--and all of that can 
lead to an easing of tensions in this region. 
We believe that our transformation from old adversaries into new 
dialogue partners can only reinforce stability and security in the Asia-
Pacific region. 
We also believe that by engaging Vietnam on economic reform, we will 
further its integration into the vital economy of the vibrant Asia-
Pacific region, which will  benefit the citizens of both our countries. 
We are beginning the process of examining ways to encourage United 
States trade and investment with Vietnam. We want to ensure that 
American companies can compete effectively in this expanding and opening 
market. I have just come from a meeting with more than 20 American 
business representatives who explained to me their interest in the 
opportunities to compete here. They  see normalization as a new 
opportunity for American business in this part of the world. 
I want to emphasize that I think their activities are entirely 
complementary with our highest priority, which continues to be to obtain 
a full accounting. As more Americans are here in Vietnam, as we develop 
closer and closer relationships with the people of Vietnam and their 
government, this can only enhance our ability to achieve a full 
This embassy that we open today reflects our determination not only to 
launch a new chapter in our relationships with Vietnam, but also to 
remain engaged in the Asia-Pacific region. 
On this, the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the 
20th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war, United States engagement 
in this region is essential to our security and our prosperity as never 
Of course, it is worthwhile reminding ourselves that the work in 
building a new productive relationship between the United States and 
Vietnam has just begun. Much remains to be done, but we open this new 
chapter, this new era with high hopes and great determination. With a 
sense of purpose and with a pledge to serve Americans to the greatest of 
our ability, we dedicate this site. We dedicate this embassy to the 
goals I have outlined today--to complete the accounting for the 
Americans who did not return home, to serve a stronger relationship 
between the United States and Vietnam, and to vigorously pursue our 
other bilateral interests. Thank you.   
Remarks to Detachment Two  
Remarks at Headquarters of Joint Task Force-Full Accounting, Detachment 
Two, Hanoi, Vietnam, August 5, 1995. 
Good afternoon. I am glad you could join us at the site where our most 
important work in Vietnam is being done. I have just been given an 
extremely impressive briefing from Detachment Two of our Joint Task 
Force-Full Accounting. The men and women who do this work share   the 
President's and my conviction that there should be a final accounting 
for each and every American who did not return from Vietnam, Laos, or 
When the United States sends its military men and women into battle, it 
is the individual, with his or her training, courage, and devotion to 
duty, who counts. Each is a cherished human being with a name and a 
family and a nation that cares. This endeavor is a reflection of that 
deep feeling we have for everyone who goes into battle. 
Most of the men and women who are serving so effectively in this command 
are too young to have served during the Vietnam War; some were born 
after the war ended. Yet they have volunteered for this difficult and 
dangerous job. They are combing this country for evidence of our missing 
in action. They are searching in villages and paddy fields long since 
transformed by the ravages of war and the commerce of peace. They must 
overcome poor communications and treacherous terrain, and face the 
threat of unexploded mines, which, tragically, continue to take innocent 
lives in the Vietnamese countryside. I am enormously impressed by their 
dedication  and bravery. 
As President Clinton has emphasized, our tireless search for the missing 
in Southeast Asia is unparalleled in military history. The men and women 
of Detachment Two have interviewed hundreds of Vietnamese soldiers, 
citizens, and government officials, and have scoured tens of thousands 
of archival items and documents looking for clues. I am pleased to say 
that in my meeting today with the Foreign Minister, he turned over 
another thick sheaf of documents that his government had accumulated in 
the last two months.  
The scale and intensity of this effort is extraordinary. In order to 
locate the remains repatriated in the ceremony I witnessed this morning, 
107 U.S. military and civilian specialists deployed into Vietnam for 33 
days in eight different teams. In another case, a recovery team spent 
six weeks excavating a fish pond, filtering through the muck and mire to 
unearth the debris of an A-6 Intruder. Eventually, they were able to 
find bone fragments, teeth with restorations, and two gold wedding 
bands--mementos of loved ones who were lost. 
This is demanding, meticulous work. But it is yielding important 
results. From 1993 to the present, we have repatriated 167 sets of 
remains. The men and women of the Joint Task Force have confirmed that 
the Vietnamese Government has provided us with unprecedented access to 
its officials, to its military records, to its prisons, to its 
cemeteries, and to isolated areas of the country. Just as important, we 
have had remarkable cooperation from Vietnamese citizens in every walk 
of life, who have repeatedly come forward to help us find answers. The 
people of this nation have endured more than their own share of loss. 
They know what a solemn and sacred duty we are undertaking. Indeed, the 
need to account for the past is a singular bond between the Vietnamese 
and American people. Our government and our veterans' groups have taken 
very important steps to help Vietnam account for its missing in action. 
As many of our veterans have discovered upon returning to Vietnam, this 
common quest can help form the basis for lasting reconciliation.  
There is still much work remaining, and we need the continued 
cooperation of the Vietnamese Government and people to complete it. The 
President's decision to normalize ties proceeded from the conviction 
that our cooperation on this matter would continue to improve. I am 
convinced that we now have the means to get the fullest possible 
accounting for our POWs and MIAs. My visit here today leaves me 
confident that we are doing everything in our power to fulfill the 
promise that President Clinton has made: to take every conceivable step 
to find the truth for the families of our missing in action. 
I want to salute the men and women of Detachment Two who labor in a 
spirit of great determination. Your nation has good reason to be 
grateful. (###) 
Reaffirming U.S. Commitment To Democracy and Reconstruction In Cambodia 
Secretary Christopher 
Arrival Remarks 
Remarks upon arrival, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 4, 1995. 
Mr. Foreign Minister, it is a special privilege for me to set foot on 
the soil of a free and independent Cambodia. I am the first Secretary of 
State to visit Cambodia since John Foster Dulles visited here as 
Secretary in 1955.  
I have come here to salute the progress the Cambodian people have made 
with such dignity and courage toward peace and freedom. I am here to 
underscore the commitment of the United States to support--in every way 
we can--the democratic path that you have chosen; to urge you and help 
you to consolidate the institutions of democracy as you prepare for the 
next elections. 
Cambodia has come remarkably far in overcoming a generation of conflict, 
terror, and genocide. When more than 90% of eligible Cambodian voters 
defied threats and crossed minefields just over two years ago to 
establish democracy, their bravery and their determination renewed our 
faith in humanity. 
The international community, led by the United Nations, has played an 
indispensable role in giving Cambodians a chance to rid their country of 
violence and to choose their own government. At a time when United 
Nations peacekeeping is much criticized and under challenge, the 
historic operation in Cambodia is a good example of how the United 
Nations can lift the horizons of a country's people. Its success can be 
seen in the lives of the thousands who have been saved and the hundreds 
of thousands of refugees who have been able to return to their homes, in 
the free elections that were held, and in the democratic government that 
has endured and prospered here. 
We all know the survival of democracy cannot be taken for granted. Even 
with its massive humanitarian investment in Cambodia in the past decade, 
the international community--the United States included--must continue 
to do its part. The United States has contributed more than $1 billion 
in aid toward the reconciliation and reconstruction of Cambodia, and we 
will remain steadfast in our determination to try and do our part in 
moving forward this still fragile transformation. 
I look forward very much to my meetings today with His Majesty the King, 
with the First Prime Minister Prince Ranariddh, and the Second Prime 
Minister Hun Sen, as well as, Mr. Minister, our meetings with you. We 
had a good opportunity to begin to get acquainted in Brunei when 
Cambodia joined the ASEAN Regional Forum for the first time. I am 
looking forward to further conversations with my colleague, the Foreign 
Minister, as well as the opportunity to meet with representatives of the 
National Assembly and non-governmental organizations to discuss their 
vital efforts to ensure that democracy survives and thrives. 
I am also going to do as many things as I possibly can in the time that 
I have here in Cambodia to learn about your country, to learn about its 
past, but also to talk with the leaders here about its future. Even as I 
think about how far Cambodia must still travel, I am heartened by how 
far it has already come. With the great determination and courage that 
Cambodia has shown in the past, and with the support that the 
international community can give, I am confident that Cambodia will take 
its rightful place among the flourishing democracies and economies of 
Southeast Asia. Thank you very much.  
Toast at dinner hosted by King Sihanouk, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 4, 
Your Majesty King Sihanouk, Your Majesty Queen Monineath: I have  come 
to Phnom Penh to celebrate Cambodia's rebirth and to honor your 
country's courageous decision to choose the path of reconciliation and 
freedom. I am also here to pay tribute to your personal struggle to 
bring peace, confidence, and stability to Cambodia after so many years 
of hardship. Your Majesty has played the central role in this nation's 
long struggle to emerge from cruel darkness. 
Thanks to you, Cambodia has a promising future. And I have had a 
privilege that no American Secretary of State has enjoyed in 40 years: 
to visit with you, in your country and in your palace, especially at a 
moment of hope, promise, and change. 
Today, Cambodia has an active parliament, a robust press, and a growing 
number of civic groups. Co-Prime Ministers Prince Ranariddh and Hun Sen 
have made tireless efforts on behalf of security and development. Above 
all, the Cambodian people have taught the world a lesson: The demand for 
liberty is universal, and men and women will overcome the greatest odds 
to achieve it. 
Of course, Cambodia still faces formidable challenges. Schools and 
hospitals need rebuilding. Teachers, doctors, and nurses need training. 
Democratic institutions and human rights need constant and vigilant 
protection. Minefields must be cleared. It is impossible to visit 
Cambodia without seeing reminders of the terror and tragedy it has 
But it is also impossible to ignore the signs of courage and hope. The 
faces of the children who lined my route from the airport, the bustling 
energy of Phnom Penh's markets, the bravery of those who risk their 
lives in demining efforts, and the determination of the parliamentarians 
I met all suggest a common vision of a democratic, prosperous Cambodia 
at peace. Let me assure you that the United States will stand with the 
Cambodian people as they work to realize that vision. 
In recognition of their achievement, I raise my glass to the Cambodian 
people. No people in the world more deserve the blessings of peace and 
prosperity and freedom. In recognition of your Majesty's leadership, I 
raise my glass to you as Samdech Eauv, the "father of the nation." I 
wish you and your country excellent health and every success in the 
months and years ahead. 
Observations on Cambodia's Transformation 
Opening statement at a press conference, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 4, 
I would like to give you a brief review of my day in Phnom Penh and to 
make some observations about the vital but difficult transformation that 
is under-way here in Cambodia. It has been an exhilarating day for me 
here--my first in Phnom Penh and my first, of course, in this new 
Following this press conference, I will have an audience with His 
Majesty King Sihanouk, a man who has played  a historic role in bringing 
a new era to Cambodia after many, many years of strife. Earlier today, I 
met with the Foreign Minister and then separately with First Prime 
Minister Prince Ranariddh and Second Prime Minister Hun Sen. It was an 
opportunity for me to reaffirm America's continuing commitment to 
support Cambodia's reconstruction and democracy. These meetings focused 
on the steps that Cambodia is taking to consolidate democracy and on the 
role that our assistance has played in helping it to achieve that goal. 
I want to commend both His Majesty and the co-Prime Ministers for the 
leadership and cooperative spirit that they have shown with this epic 
effort in trying to rebuild and reconstruct their country. 
There have been many moving transformations in this world since the Cold 
War ended, but no new democracy has had to overcome greater devastation 
and faced greater problems than the new democracy here in Cambodia. I 
think it is apparent to all that few have been burdened by such grim 
memories of genocide and terror.  
The United States has provided nearly $1 billion in the last decade to 
help Cambodia surmount its tragic past. The USAID agreements that I 
signed today represent part of our government's $37-million pledge 
currently outstanding to Cambodia. Moreover, I announced today that the 
United States will provide 10,000 metric tons of rice to help Cambodia 
overcome the food shortages that still affect several parts of this 
I also signed an agreement starting operations in Cambodia by the 
Overseas Private Investment Corporation-- OPIC--which will be a very 
important incentive for American companies that are seeking to invest 
here. I told the Cambodian leadership that we will work with even 
greater determination following our trip to obtain final action on the 
legislation now pending in Congress to restore most-favored-nation 
status to Cambodia--legislation which has passed the House and is now 
pending in the Senate. MFN will be crucial to Cambodia's recovery, as I 
have heard from a number of businesspeople. Cambodia's economic future, 
of course, will depend upon its private sector and its own ability to 
attract foreign investment and to prosper with trade. Both the OPIC 
guaranties and MFN are important building blocks in that process. 
As most of you know, I visited Cambodia's Mine Action Center, where a 
very dedicated staff is struggling to rid this country of the plague of 
anti-personnel landmines. The United States has played a considerable 
role in supporting this program. In addition, we have a global program 
to try to end the scourge of landmines. We stopped exporting landmines 
ourselves, and we are spearheading a resolution at the United Nations 
calling for a global ban on land mine exports. 
I met for nearly two hours with some members of the National Assembly 
and with representatives of Cambodia's leading human rights 
organizations. It was a very important event for me. I heard from a good 
cross-section of extraordinary Cambodians on the challenges facing this 
new democracy. The topics we discussed included the importance of  free 
media; the strengths and weaknesses of the new press law; preparations 
for the next round of elections; steps that are needed to 
institutionalize the rule of law; and the need to stay committed and 
focused on the pursuit of democracy. 
The process of change is fragile and, obviously, very difficult 
challenges remain. I reminded all my interlocutors that elections are 
very important, and I paraphrased Haitian President Aristide who said so 
movingly in Washington--"in a democracy it is not the first, but the 
second election that counts." I reminded my friends that democracy also 
requires more than an election; it requires respect for human rights, a 
free press, and other vital institutions of civil society. I stressed 
that our ability to sustain congressional and public support in the 
United States for assistance to Cambodia depended very heavily on how 
they managed this very difficult, very fragile process. During lunch, I 
heard stories of the horrors of the Khmer Rouge period--of lost fathers 
and mothers and sisters--from those who have lived through and 
experienced the period. I was particularly struck by the determination 
of those who survived the horrors of Cambodia's darkest hour to make 
sure they never happened again.  
It was just two years ago that Cambodia held its first free elections. 
Next year, there will be local elections, and then the national 
elections in 1998 will be a critical chance for Cambodia to renew its 
commitment to an accountable government. The United States intends to do 
its part to try to help. For example, through our Democratic and 
Republican Party institutes, we will work to strengthen Cambodia's 
political parties and to heighten respect for the essential democratic 
force of a loyal opposition.  
No country in Asia has been more ravaged by conflict and war over the 
past two decades than Cambodia; no people in Asia are more deserving of 
a respite from conflict and war. Today, Cambodia is poised to enter the 
mainstream of a prosperous Southeast Asia at peace. With the continuing 
support of the United States, the support of its Asian neighbors, and 
the entire international community, that goal can be achieved. With the 
steady commitment of Cambodians to build and safeguard their democracy, 
that goal will be achieved. Thanks very much.  
U.S.-Cambodia Agreements 
Remarks at signing ceremony with His Royal Highness Samdech Preah 
Norodom Ranariddh, First Prime Minister, and His Excellency Hun Sen, 
Second Prime Minister, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 4, 1995. 
Your Royal Highness, First Prime Minister, Your Excellency Second Prime 
Minister, ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: I have 
come to Cambodia today to salute the remarkable progress its people are 
making toward democracy and peace. Those great strides began because 
millions of Cambodians turned away from violence and turned toward 
reconciliation; turned away from repression and turned toward freedom. 
As the Cambodian people have advanced down this courageous path, the 
steadfast support of the international community has helped to carry 
them forward, though, no doubt, it is the courage and steadfastness of 
the Cambodian people that is owed the greatest support and recognition.  
The agreements that we are signing today will reinforce America's 
commitment to help Cambodia overcome its tragic past. Over the last 
decade the United States has provided nearly $1 billion to support 
relief, peacekeeping, and reconstruction here in Cambodia at a time when 
our resources are strained in the United States. Nevertheless, our 
support for developing democratic institutions and a free market in 
Cambodia will continue.  
I will take just a moment now to highlight some of the assistance that 
we are providing through these agreements that I have just signed with 
your two ministers. First, we are announcing today that the United 
States will provide 10,000 metric tons of rice to Cambodia through our 
Food for Peace program. We are making this donation, which amounts to 
around $5 million, to offset the severe shortages caused in this country 
by the floods that still afflict part of the countryside. I am also 
pleased to say that pursuant to the agreements that we have just signed, 
there will be a new six-year, $30-million project to bolster primary 
education. In addition, we are beginning a $20-million project to 
strengthen family health services. I have also signed agreements to 
provide more funding to existing programs that support political and 
economic reform.  
Of course, the ultimate success of our assistance programs will depend 
upon the determination of the Cambodian people, not just to build demo- 
cratic institutions, but to rebuild their shattered economy on the basis 
of free market principles. Cambodia's economic future rests upon the 
strength of its private sector and on its ability to attract investors 
and to prosper from both trade and investment. And so, I am very pleased 
to announce that one of the agreements we have just signed permits our 
OPIC agency--our Overseas Private Investment Corporation--to operate in 
Cambodia. In many cases, the availability of OPIC programs can tip the 
balance in an American company's decision to invest here or to go 
elsewhere. Now, with OPIC able to provide insurance financing programs, 
we are certain that American companies will be even more eager to invest 
in Cambodia. We know that many companies will be here to find 
opportunities and to send a strong signal of their support for the 
security and stability of the Cambodian regime.  
Of course, the way ahead will not be easy. Your needs for international 
assistance are very great, but we are determined to continue to help. We 
will help address them by supplying food, by helping to train teachers 
and doctors, and by improving agriculture. We will help you rebuild your 
political and economic institutions that are needed to convert your 
hard-won freedom into lasting peace and prosperity. Through the 
agreements that we have just signed today, I am proud to say that the 
United States is doing both. Thank you very much. 
Cambodian Mine Action Center 
Remarks at Cambodian Mine Action Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 4, 
Good afternoon. I am here to honor the outstanding work that the staff 
of the Cambodia Mine Action Center has been doing to help rid this 
country of anti-personnel landmines. I am also here because Cambodia's 
experience with landmines is a lesson to the world. These hidden killers 
are a scourge that must be controlled and, ultimately, eliminated. 
No nation has suffered more from landmines than Cambodia. Two 
generations of almost uninterrupted warfare have left an estimated 10 
million mines strewn along Cambodia's roads and around its paddyfields 
and jungles. Thousands of people have lost their lives simply trying to 
farm, herd animals, and gather firewood. Because of landmines and other 
debris of war, Cambodia has the highest proportion of amputees in its 
population of any nation in the world--roughly one person in every 236. 
Even today, there are up to 300 new landmine casualties every month. 
Every mine that explodes adds another needless tragedy to the pain of 
Cambodia's recent history. 
In Cambodia, as elsewhere, landmines do not distinguish between 
civilians and combatants; indeed, they probably kill more children than 
soldiers. They do not cease to kill when peace treaties are signed and 
soldiers become farmers, teachers, and merchants. The essential tasks of 
rebuilding a war-shattered society are delayed until the mines are 
For three years now, the Mine Action Center has been attacking this 
problem and beating the odds. With over 1,500 deminers in the field, it 
is among the largest and best-organized demining operations in the 
world. It has cleared over 8 million square meters--an area as big as 
Connecticut--destroying almost 200,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance. I 
cite these numbers because they point to something more important: The 
Center's work has saved thousands of innocent lives. 
Destroying mines is difficult, expensive, and most of all, dangerous 
work. The danger is compounded by poor security in areas where the Khmer 
Rouge is still a threat. Cambodia must not face this problem alone. The 
demining program needs the continued support of the international 
The United States is proud to help. This has been a personal project of 
mine for some time. I have been enlisted in this project by Senator Pat 
Leahy, who has worked to call international attention to this issue. In 
the last two years, we have committed over $6 million to the demining 
effort. For the past year, U.S. military personnel have been training 
Cambodian soldiers in landmine identification and clearance, and first 
aid for trauma victims. These programs will continue in Cambodia and in 
10 other countries on three continents. 
We will also continue to lead diplomatic efforts to curb the 
proliferation and irresponsible use of landmines around the world. The 
United States has stopped exporting landmines. We have urged other 
nations to follow suit. We spearheaded a resolution at the UN calling 
for a global ban on landmine exports. With the United Kingdom, we have 
proposed a multilateral regime to restrict the production, stockpiling, 
and export of anti-personnel mines. I am pleased that the Cambodian 
Government has provided strong support to this effort. 
As Secretary of State, I will continue to make this issue a personal 
priority. The United States will stand with the people and Government of 
Cambodia--from the villages and fields of this beautiful country to the 
conference halls of Geneva and New York--in our common effort to end the 
landmine threat. Your efforts here have earned the gratitude of the 
Cambodian people and the international community. We salute you. (###) 
The United States and Malaysia: A Dynamic Relationship 
Secretary Christopher 
Educational Exchange 
Remarks at the signing of an agreement establishing the Malaysian- 
American Commission on Educational Exchange, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 
August 3, 1995. 
Thank you. I am really delighted to join Education Minister Najib for 
this significant signing. 
Educational exchange is a very    important part of the dynamic 
relationship between the United States and Malaysia. For centuries, 
Malaysia has been open to the world. Today, in the age of phones and 
microchips and faxes, Malaysia is even more open than it has been in the 
past. We are building between us new links across the sea lanes and 
across the information superhighway.  
No doubt, Malaysia's commitment to education reflects its historic role 
as a crossroads of culture and commerce. Prime Minister Mahathir has 
said that education is the key to enabling Malaysia to realize its 
vision of a modern and developed Malaysia by the year 2020. The United 
States applauds this vision and looks forward to working with Malaysia 
to make it a reality. 
Already, Malaysia is among the top 10 countries in supplying foreign 
students to the United States. More than 100,000 Malaysians have gone to 
U.S. universities. Today, they are making a very significant 
contribution here in Malaysia. 
This new Fulbright program that we launched today--and for which I thank 
my colleague, the Minister, for describing so I won't have to--allows us 
to continue to foster the exchange  of students, and the exchange of 
know-ledge and experiences between scholars. It recognizes, as the 
Minister said, that changes have taken place over the last 30 years. We 
now have a new opportunity to enable a Malaysian-American Commission on 
Educational Exchange to maintain its position as a leader in this kind 
of educational exchange program. 
A number of American universities and Malaysian universities are working 
together. The Ministry of Education here and our Midwestern University 
Consortium have launched a new initiative to provide technical training 
and expertise for Malaysian educators, and, in turn, to produce a new 
cadre of technically trained workers--one of the great needs of this 
dynamic country with its thirst for well-trained, expert workers. In the 
25 years of working with Malaysia, American universities that belong to 
this consortium have developed some of the major American centers of 
expertise on Southeast Asia and Malaysia. Their future involvement will 
ensure that students and educators as well as professors will increase 
their expertise. 
I think you probably all know that  as a young man, President Clinton 
worked  in the office of Senator Fulbright when Senator Fulbright was in 
the United States Senate and Chairman of the Foreign Relations 
Committee. Indeed, Senator Fulbright was one of  the mentors and role 
models for President Clinton. President Clinton spoke at a memorial 
service for Senator Fulbright, who died only last year. In that 
memorable address, President Clinton remarked that the Fulbright 
scholarship reflected Senator Fulbright's faith: "different kinds of 
people learning side by side, building what he called a capacity for 
empathy . . . and an inclination for peace." The scholars who take part 
carry forward this meaningful and historic legacy. They know the value 
of openness, and they know the value of understanding in our 
increasingly interdependent world. So it is with a great deal of 
pleasure that I have joined with Minister Najib, who has such a sterling 
reputation among all of us who know about him and work with him, in 
signing this new agreement to continue the Fulbright program here in 
Extradition Treaty 
Remarks at  signing of U.S.-Malaysia extradition treaty, Kuala Lumpur, 
Malaysia, August 3, 1995. 
I am delighted to join Foreign Minister Abdullah in signing a new 
extradition treaty, the product of seven years of long, hard 
negotiations. Let me express my appreciation to the Government of 
Malaysia, the attorneys-general of Malaysia, and negotiators whose long 
and painstaking work made possible the signature of this treaty today. 
This treaty demonstrates the commitment of the United States and 
Malaysia to strengthen our relations and broaden our cooperation in many 
areas of significance. We view Malaysia as a very strong regional 
leader, one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic economies and an 
increasingly valuable partner for the United States on issues ranging 
from security to counternarcotics and the environment. 
Indeed, Malaysia has grown rapidly in the last few years. Earlier today, 
I witnessed the signing of treaties and commercial agreements that 
reflect Malaysia's remarkable economic achievement and the deepening of 
our relationship. Malaysia is already our 13th-largest trading partner, 
while the United States is Malaysia's second- largest trading partner 
and a top foreign investor here. Through U.S.-ASEAN relations, our 
nations are expanding our economic ties, and through APEC, we are 
expanding our cooperation across the Asia-Pacific region. 
Our nations also enjoy excellent security cooperation. As you know, the 
Foreign Minister and I have just returned from the second meeting of the 
ASEAN Regional Forum--this time in Brunei--where we joined 17 of our 
fellow foreign ministers to talk about challenges to regional security. 
Our bilateral security relationship helps the United States maintain its 
forward presence, a forward presence that Malaysia, as well as the other 
nations in this region, deem essential to regional stability and 
prosperity. We greatly appreciate Malaysia's role in hosting the 
discussions here in Kuala Lumpur between North Korea and the United 
States on the U.S.-D.P.R.K. Agreed Framework. We also appreciate the 
help that Malaysia has given to the KEDO organization which is so 
essential to the Framework's implementation. We have tremendous regard 
for Malaysia's participation in UN peacekeeping operations, including 
those in Bosnia as well as other humanitarian operations. 
We hope to broaden our cooperation on a number of other security 
challenges. The extradition treaty that we signed today reflects our 
understanding that, in today's increasingly interdependent world, 
threats like international terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and 
organized crime cannot be defeated by any one nation. Only by working 
together, only by combining our efforts can we prevail.  
This treaty also demonstrates the respect both of our countries hold for 
the rule of law. It reinforces our common desire to see that those who 
breach our laws are brought to justice. It advances our common interests 
in protecting our societies from those who try to undermine them with 
violence, corruption, and drugs. The United States and Malaysia have 
already established a very strong cooperative anti-narcotics 
relationship, and this treaty will be very useful in that regard. I look 
forward to its very early ratification and its entry into force at the 
earliest possible time.  
Let me add some impressions of my meetings here over the past few days. 
My conversations and experiences here greatly reinforce my conviction 
about the need for American engagement in this dynamic region. In my 
meetings with foreign ministers in Brunei and today with the prime 
minister and the deputy prime minister, as well as the ministers of the 
cabinet and other business leaders at lunch, the message has been the 
same. The region still looks to the United States to sustain its 
security and economic prosperity. 
At the same time, I am also powerfully struck by the enormous interest 
that the United States has in sharing in the prosperity of this region. 
No one could drive in from the airport as I did today without being 
impressed by the tremendous opportunities that there are here for United 
States business and industry and, indeed, for United States workers. At 
lunch today, both Malaysian and American business leaders stressed the 
importance of our increasing, and not reducing, our present business 
presence in this area. At a time when the siren song of isolationism 
again is being heard, I think it is even more important that we 
increase, rather than reduce, America's commitment to this area. It is 
in our strong national interest to participate in the tremendous growth 
in this area and to ensure that there is no disruption to its progress. 
Thank you very much, Mr. Minister.   
Commercial Contracts 
Remarks at witnessing signing of commercial contracts at the Prime 
Minister's Department, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 3, 1995.  
Thank you very much. Let me first say how much I enjoy being here in 
Kuala Lumpur and getting a sense of the dynamic growth of this area 
reflected in the signature of these outstanding contracts. I just had 
the pleasure of a good meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of your 
country. I heard a great deal about him from Vice President Gore, and, 
through his unusual insights and eloquence, he more than lived up to his 
reputation. We exchanged views about a large range of subjects. In his 
capacity as Finance Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister has played a key 
role in promoting economic growth and economic liberalization. We both 
agreed that this liberalization should continue, and I urged that it be 
expanded when available to financial services. The progress in open 
trading has already succeeded in attracting an ever-growing number of 
American and other foreign investors and exporters to Malaysia. The 
United States is now the largest foreign investor in Malaysia as well as 
Malaysia's second-largest trading partner, and Malaysia is the 13th-
largest trading partner of the United States. 
The agreement that we have just witnessed between FMC-Jetway and its 
partner Sime Engineering in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport is a 
very concrete and very significant expression of the strong and growing 
commercial ties between our two countries. Through the centuries 
Malaysia has been the midpoint, the marketplace for travelers going 
between India and China. Today in the new jet age, it is a crossroads of 
trans-Pacific commerce, and the new airport will give Malaysia a new 
gateway to match the tremendous growth of this economy and its industry. 
I am very pleased that an American company, FMC-Jetway, is helping 
Malaysia realize its vision of a fully developed economy by the year 
2020. I hope that more American companies will take part in realizing 
this ambitious vision of the future. I want to thank all those who made 
this signing today possible, and I want to thank you, Mr. Deputy Prime 
Minister, for your hospitality and for giving me the opportunity to be 
here for this significant event in Kuala Lumpur. I want to express the 
deep regard that the United States has for Malaysia and   the high 
regard we have for our growing and ever-closer relationship. I am 
dedicated to taking steps that will ensure we find more areas where we 
can cooperate in this dynamic region.  (###) 
U.S. Policy in the Middle East 
Robert H. Pelletreau, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs 
Statement before the House International Relations Committee, 
Washington, DC, August 2, 1995 
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee: I am pleased to 
appear before you to review recent developments in the Middle East. My 
statement today will focus on developments in the peace process since I 
last testified before the full committee in April. I will also review 
our policy toward Iran, Iraq, Libya, and others in the region. 
This Administration remains fully engaged in helping to secure a just, 
lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. In June, Secretary 
Christopher made his 12th visit to the Middle East in 2-1/2 years. The 
Secretary met with the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and the 
Palestinians. I am pleased to report that his efforts had the effect of 
re-energizing the peace process after a difficult period. 
We have worked hard in the ensuing weeks to capitalize on new 
opportunities and advance the process. Let me describe where we stand on 
the various tracks. 
Since signing the Declaration of Principles in September 1993, Israel 
and the Palestinians have concluded a series of important implementation 
agreements. They are now engaged in an intensive effort to reach 
agreement on implementation of phase two of the Declaration of 
Principles. The United States supports these negotiations and commends 
both parties for their determination to reach agreement, despite the 
efforts of the enemies of peace to undermine the negotiations. 
We believe that conclusion of an agreement on the second phase will 
provide an important demonstration of the ability of the two sides to 
deal with difficult issues and of their commitment to move forward. 
Israel and the Palestinians have sought to conclude this agreement as 
quickly as possible, but we recognize that the issues under discussion 
are complex and sensitive. We were encouraged by progress made by 
Foreign Minister Peres and Chairman Arafat at a meeting hosted by 
President Mubarak on July 19 in Alexandria. This further underscored the 
continuing important role played by Egypt in the peace process. 
The current negotiations focus on the issues of security and the 
redeployment of Israeli forces, the further transfer of authority to the 
Palestinian Authority, and elections. The parties are working hard to 
outline a framework for Israeli redeployment in the West Bank and 
arrangements for maintaining security and public order. 
Redeployment will set in motion a process for elections for the 
Palestinian Council. This will be accompanied by the further transfer of 
nearly 30 areas of administrative powers in the West Bank from Israel to 
the Palestinian Authority, which will complement the five spheres that 
were transferred in 1994. 
Meanwhile, terrorist incidents such as the July 24 bus bombing in Ramat 
Gan, a Tel Aviv suburb, and the murder of two Israeli hikers in Wadi 
Kelt serve as a reminder of the challenge Israel and the Palestinians 
must deal with. 
We note Chairman Arafat's strong condemnation of the terrorist bombing. 
For its part, the Palestinian Authority has taken important steps to 
prevent violence and to punish those responsible for terrorism. The 
Palestinian Authority has also undertaken more meaningful measures to 
crack down on those that plan and carry out attacks. It has detained, 
tried, and convicted persons involved in violence and terrorism against 
Israel and has moved to restrict the prevalence of weapons in areas 
under its control. Cooperation and coordination with Israeli security 
forces continue to improve. If measures such as these are sustained, and 
they must be sustained, they will have a lasting effect on security and 
As President Clinton has repeatedly emphasized, the enemies of peace 
cannot--and will not--prevail. This was amply demonstrated by the 
Israeli-Palestinian agreement to resume talks this week and to not allow 
terrorists to derail the process. Once the parties reach agreement, 
there may be a request to hold a signing ceremony in Washington followed 
by a series of donor meetings to spur economic support for the 
The United States will play a central role in mobilizing political and 
economic support for the accord, as we have since 1993. For that reason, 
we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Congress on the 
terms of short-term and long-term extensions of the Middle East Peace 
Facilitation Act. Our own bilateral aid program is on track. USAID has 
obligated $130 mil- lion of our total $150 million authority for fiscal 
years 1994 and 1995. This includes two emergency job creation projects 
valued at $8 million, which were signed in March and an $11-million Gaza 
storm drain project, signed in early July and announced on July 27 in 
Gaza by Ambassador Indyk and Chairman Arafat. 
Looking ahead to the donors meetings, we intend to focus on four key 
issues: infrastructure development, particularly in the West Bank; 
continued support for startup costs for the Palestinian Authority; 
housing; and industrial zones. In every case, we will be guided by the 
conviction that our aid program should complement the Palestinian 
Authority's effort to create effective institutions of self-government 
and promote free enterprise necessary to promote long-term economic 
Bilateral relations with Israel continue to be very warm and 
cooperative. Our commitment to Israel's security remains unshakable, and 
the President's budget request for FY 1996 reflects this commitment. At 
the same time, we look forward to improving the balance of trade between 
our two countries which historically has favored Israel. We are 
currently holding trade talks in Washington to find mutually beneficial 
ways to address this issue. Finally, cooperation on security matters 
remains a high priority. As an example, we are actively considering a 
request from the Government of Israel for the provisional arrest of 
Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook under Article XI of our 1962 bilateral 
extradition treaty. Mr. Abu Marzook is the head of the political bureau 
of Hamas, one of the organizations listed in the President's January 24, 
1995 Executive Order "Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists who 
Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process." 
The Israel-Syria negotiations have commanded a great deal of our 
attention over the past few months. It is clear that much work remains 
to be done, but we are encouraged that the talks have entered a new, 
more substantive phase. 
The current phase began with Secretary Christopher's trip to the region 
in March, when the two sides agreed to a renewal of direct talks. We 
took another step forward in June with Secretary Christopher's 
announcement that Israel and Syria had agreed on a sequence of steps to 
advance the negotiations. This sequence involved a meeting in Washington 
under U.S. auspices of the Israeli and Syrian chiefs of staff to discuss 
security arrangements, a trip by Ambassador Ross to the region, to be 
followed by a meeting of military experts in Washington. We believe that 
this sequence of steps is the most effective way to proceed. 
The Israeli-Syrian talks cover a range of complex and sensitive issues. 
They are focused on the nature of the peace they are contemplating, 
withdrawal, security, and the timing of the elements of these issues. 
While these talks represent an important development, significant gaps 
remain. The United States will remain closely and actively involved to 
support the efforts of the parties to reach an agreement. 
Amman Economic Summit 
We know that for peace in the Middle East to take root and spread, it 
must be accompanied by tangible change in the lives of people in the 
region. The Administration is making a major effort to spread the 
benefits of peace by bringing private sector resources to bear on the 
region's pressing economic needs. We are committed first and foremost to 
promoting U.S. business in the region, not only by helping U.S. 
companies secure contracts, but also by reducing barriers to trade and 
investment and ensuring that the rights of American businesses are not 
The Administration is also sponsoring the second Middle East/North 
Africa economic summit, to be held in Amman, Jordan, in October. Last 
year's inaugural economic summit in Casablanca brought together 
representatives of 61 countries and more than 1,000 businesspeople to 
discuss economic development needs and commercial prospects of the 
region. Participants at Casablanca endorsed the concept of a public-
private partnership--a concept which underlies our objectives for Amman. 
At the summit, we hope to be in a position to announce the creation of a 
regional bank, as well as regional councils for business and for 
The proposed bank would allow us to leverage our resources to promote 
regional development, and it would complement the important work done by 
other international financial institutions. A task force of 30 regional 
and non-regional members has been working hard in advance of the summit 
reviewing proposals and draft articles of agreement. We envision a small 
bank to meet the region's unique development needs, and we are intent on 
ensuring its financial soundness. 
We have no illusions that prosperity will come quickly or easily to the 
region. The summit will have a salutary effect of highlighting new 
commercial opportunities and incentives to advance regional development. 
It is up to Middle Easterners themselves to embrace these opportunities 
and prepare their economies and societies for the challenges of the 21st 
It is entirely appropriate that Jordan will be the site of the next 
regional economic summit. Under the leadership of King Hussein, Jordan 
is charting a new course in the search for peace and prosperity in the 
Middle East. It has been just over one year since President Clinton 
hosted a meeting between King Hussein and Prime Minister Rabin at the 
White House. This historic meeting on July 25, 1994, produced the 
Washington Declaration, which marked the end of the state of war between 
Israel and Jordan. 
In October, Jordan became the second Arab state to sign a peace treaty 
with Israel. The two countries established formal diplomatic relations 
in November and exchanged ambassadors in March. We are encouraged that 
the Jordanians and Israelis have begun to formulate plans for a series 
of joint development projects dealing with the environment, water, 
energy, and tourism. The United States has been closely and constantly 
involved in supporting these efforts through the U.S.-Israel-Jordan 
Trilateral Economic Committee. 
The President committed the U.S. to support Jordan when King Hussein 
took his courageous move toward peace without waiting for others in the 
region. Jordan is clearly doing its part to secure peace in the Middle 
East, and it deserves our support. In this regard, we welcome the 
Congress' approval of the recissions bill containing the $275 million 
requested for debt relief for Jordan. 
Arab Boycott 
One major blight on the economic and political landscape is the Arab 
League's boycott of Israel. We remain in staunch opposition to the 
boycott, which, I am pleased to report, has been further relaxed during 
the past year. Encouraging signs of change include the Gulf Cooperation 
Council states' announcement last fall that they have ended the 
secondary and tertiary boycotts and the Palestinian endorsement of an 
end to the boycott in the February Taba Declaration. Just last week, the 
Jordanian Parliament took a major step forward when it voted by a 
substantial majority to endorse draft legislation which would cancel 
existing laws implementing the boycott. 
We will continue to urge our Arab allies to take unilateral steps 
against the boycott while we press for an Arab League resolution to end 
it. The Anti-Economic Discrimination Act has been a useful tool in 
combating the boycott and, in particular, in eliminating boycott-related 
requests to U.S. companies. We are pressing those countries for which 
the President granted a one-year waiver under the Act to put an end to 
such requests. 
Egypt continues to be a reliable and important partner of the United 
States in the Middle East. Our two countries engage in wide-ranging 
cooperation in many areas, and the U.S. remains Egypt's largest donor 
and military supplier. Egypt and the United States work closely together 
on the Middle East peace process, regional security, and many other 
issues highly important to our interests. We applaud Egypt's continuing 
contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations under the most 
difficult circumstances, such as in Bosnia, Liberia, and Angola. While 
we do not always agree on all matters, our relationship with Egypt is 
solid, mature, and deep, reflected in continuing productive dialogue on 
a wide range of issues. 
Like all of Egypt's friends, we were greatly relieved that President 
Mubarak escaped the assassination attempt against him in late June. We 
greatly appreciate President Mubarak's continuing personal leadership in 
helping to move the Middle East peace process forward. 
We look forward to continuing to work closely with Egypt to develop the 
relationship still further for the future. Since the establishment of a 
new Joint Partnership for Economic Growth and Development inaugurated by 
Vice President Gore and President Mubarak in Cairo, March 21, all three 
subcommittees of the Joint Partnership have held initial meetings and 
reached agreement on initial work programs. We look forward to an 
ongoing dialogue on policies to promote economic growth and job creation 
in Egypt through emphasis on fostering private sector development. We 
hope that these working groups will lead to technical cooperation in 
financial areas, increased trade, and mutually beneficial activity in 
the scientific, industrial, and educational fields. 
The Multilateral Negotiations 
The multilateral peace talks, which have received less publicity than 
the bilateral talks, are also recording steady, incremental gains. The 
Multilateral Working Groups bring together representatives of Israel, 
the Palestinians, 13 Arab countries, and more than 30 parties from 
outside the region to address issues facing the region as a whole: 
water, the environment, economic development, refugees, and arms control 
and security. 
The multilateral track continues to complement and reinforce the 
bilateral track by expanding the range of Arab-Israeli contacts to 
achieve practical regional cooperation. The Environment Working Group, 
for example, has agreed to a regional code of conduct. The Water 
Resources Working Group is in the process of creating a Middle East 
desalination research center in Oman. The Refugees Working Group has 
facilitated scores of meaningful projects to assist Palestinian 
refugees. Activities such as these give us a glimpse of what the region 
could look like in an era of comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace. 
Challenges to Peace and Stability 
Even as the region moves toward peace, threats to peace and security 
remain, demanding careful attention and monitoring. Forces of terrorism 
and rejection work against efforts to make peace. Opposition movements--
religious and secular--that use violence and terrorism challenge some 
governments in the region. The pursuit of weapons of mass destruction by 
some states poses a long-term threat, which must be countered. I would 
underscore that the activities of Iran, Iraq, and Libya remain sources 
of particular concern. Let me briefly review our policy toward the Gulf 
Our policy toward Iran is aimed at pressuring Tehran to halt its 
unacceptable policies, including its sponsorship of terrorism and 
violence designed to undermine the Middle East peace process and its 
pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. We 
are urging the international community to join with us to exact a 
sufficiently high economic and political price. 
President Clinton's decision in May to impose a trade and investment 
embargo against Iran affirmed U.S. leadership in holding Iran 
accountable for its actions. The embargo will reinforce our 
comprehensive efforts to secure the cooperation of other governments to 
exert multilateral pressure on Tehran. It also deprives Iran of the 
benefits of commercial relations with the U.S. The U.S. embargo had an 
immediate impact in Iran: The value of the rial declined sharply. 
Although the rial has since stabilized, we expect Iran's economic 
troubles to persist. 
We continue to seek multilateral support for our effort to pressure 
Iran. At the G-7 summit meeting in Halifax this June, the Administration 
urged the allies to support our efforts to pressure Iran economically. 
Echoing our concerns, the G-7 leaders condemned the behavior of the 
Iranian Government and called on all states to avoid any collaboration 
with Iran which might lead to a nuclear weapons capability. We continue 
our high-level efforts to persuade the Russians of the political, 
security, and diplomatic costs that Russia will face in the event the 
reactor deal goes forward. 
In addition, we have shaped a consensus--among the 23 Western 
governments participating in talks for the COCOM successor regime--that 
Iran should not be able to buy weapons or sensitive dual-use technology. 
During their June meeting in Moscow, Vice President Gore and Prime 
Minister Chernomyrdin arrived at an understanding that makes clear that 
Russia's commitment to sign no new contracts represents a comprehensive 
commitment covering arms and arms-related technologies. 
These examples demonstrate our unwavering resolve to protect U.S. 
interests. We must recognize that it may take months, if not longer, 
before we can fully assess the impact of the new U.S. sanctions. We must 
persuade our major trading partners, notably Canada, the European Union, 
and Japan, to limit their commercial ties with Iran, particularly 
through the extension of credits. The United States is committed to this 
effort for the long-term. 
Our policy on Iraq is unchanged: Iraq must comply fully with all 
obligations established by the UN Security Council in resolutions passed 
in the wake of its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Full compliance is the 
only means of reducing Iraq's threat to regional security. Security 
Council Resolution 687, which ended the Gulf War and set terms for the 
cease-fire, makes explicit the Council's need to be assured of Iraq's 
peaceful intentions. In our view--a view shared by the majority of the 
Council--full compliance with all its obligations is the appropriate 
measure for determining Iraq's intentions and the only basis for any 
discussion of modifying sanctions. 
We have noted recent Iraqi threats to return to a policy of 
confrontation if the Council decides to maintain sanctions at the next 
review in September. Iraq is in no position to instruct the Council on 
when the terms of the Council's resolutions have been met. Iraq's 
continuing non-compliance with numerous resolutions make inevitable 
another renewal of sanctions in September. Saddam should not forget that 
the Security Council has responded firmly to past Iraqi provocations. 
We, and the Security Council, will respond equally firmly to any 
confrontational Iraqi acts. 
We were pleased at the recent release of the two Americans detained in 
Iraq. Their imprisonment was without any justification. Congressman 
Richardson deserves much credit for handling a difficult situation with 
calm, good judgment. No deal was cut with the Iraqis for the release of 
the men. Congressman Richardson carried no message--verbal or written--
from the Administration. Iraq's release of the two Americans will have 
no impact on our approach to sanctions. 
Regarding the conflict in northern Iraq between rival Kurdish groups,  
we continue our efforts to persuade Kurdish leaders to resolve their 
differences. We continue to make clear to the Kurds that the U.S. 
supports territorial integrity of Iraq, and we look forward to the day 
when all Iraqis can enjoy the protection of a democratic, pluralistic 
government in Baghdad. 
Gulf Cooperation Council Security 
In the Gulf, we have a vital security relationship with each of the Gulf 
Cooperation Council (GCC) states and continue to promote greater intra-
GCC cooperation to forge an effective regional deterrent to aggression. 
This reinforces our effort to contain Iran and Iraq. We, therefore, 
support the defensive capabilities of our friends in the Gulf. 
Internally, the GCC states face a variety of economic and social 
questions which demand new answers from government decision-makers. None 
of the GCC states, however, faces a concrete threat to overall 
governmental control and authority. We seek every opportunity to 
encourage the GCC states to move toward participatory mechanisms of 
government involving all elements of the citizenry. 
In June, there was a peaceful and orderly transition in government in 
Qatar. This event should not be viewed as a harbinger of instability in 
Qatar or elsewhere in the region. The new Amir of Qatar, in his previous 
capacity as Prime Minister, effectively ran the Qatari Government before 
the transition. He was also the Defense Minister. He now will be better 
able to pursue the foreign policy which had strengthened U.S.-Qatari 
ties, dealt openly with Israel, and supported the Middle East peace 
process. All of the other GCC states and other neighbors rapidly 
accepted Qatar's transition. 
Libya continues to pose a threat to security in North Africa and beyond. 
Last week, on July 28, the UN Security Council decided for the 10th time 
that Libya still had not met the requirements of UN Security Council 
Resolution 731, concerning the bombings on Pan Am flight 103 and UTA 
flight 722. We strongly condemn Libya's lack of cooperation in resolving 
these tragedies and support the international community's resolve to see 
that justice is done. 
The Government of Libya continues to seek out intermediaries in hopes of 
negotiating a settlement and bringing an end to sanctions. Let me say 
that the international community's message is clear: There are no 
alternative avenues to resolution of this problem other than through the 
United Nations. 
While we have seen some significant results from current sanctions, 
they, regrettably, have not forced Libya to comply with UN resolutions. 
Clearly, more must be done. We have consulted with other Security 
Council members on the possibility of tightening sanctions through a 
number of means, including an oil embargo against Libya. There are 
significant differences between the U.S. position on enhanced sanctions 
and that of our allies, but we continue to press for more effective 
Another serious concern of the Administration is Libya's candidacy for 
the Security Council. As I reported during my last testimony in April, 
Libya is next in line under the traditional rotation to assume one of 
the Africa Group's Security Council seats in January 1996. We, along 
with our British and French counterparts, have been engaged in an 
intensive worldwide diplomatic effort to prevent Libya from gaining the 
seat. I can think of no scenario that would more deeply diminish the 
integrity of the United Nations than a country currently facing Security 
Council sanctions gaining a seat in that group. 
I am pleased to report that our sentiments are shared by many other 
nations also concerned about Libyan activities and the integrity of the 
United Nations. We believe that we have a sufficient number of votes to 
defeat Libya's candidacy, but we will continue to work with our allies 
and other nations to ensure that Libya's candidacy does not become a 
The political and military situation in Algeria remains at an impasse. 
Violence between the military-led government and Islamist insurgents 
continues on a daily basis and may be on the upswing. We are seeing 
serious human rights abuses, and the conflict is causing hundreds of 
casualties among innocent civilians each month. Despite some successes 
in the regime's counterinsurgency operations, the armed Islamist groups 
remain active. 
The political stalemate shows little hope of a breakthrough. A series of 
contacts between a presidential adviser and imprisoned leaders of the 
Islamic Salvation Front last month broke off with each side accusing the 
other of acting in bad faith. The government meanwhile is pressing ahead 
with its plan to hold presidential elections this year, over the 
objections of the main opposition parties. 
We are convinced that the best hope to end the violence in Algeria lies 
in the establishment of a political process which would enable Algerians 
to make a constitution. In order to contribute to a resolution of the 
conflict, such a process will need to be perceived as free, fair, and 
credible by the Algerian people and the main political parties--both 
Islamist and secular. The U.S. supports the economic reform program 
which Algiers is implementing in coordination with the IMF; continuing 
political instability will, nonetheless, have an adverse effect on 
prospects for economic recovery. 
Our message to Algerian leaders and opposition groups has been clear: We 
urge a solution based on reconciliation and guarantees of respect for 
the rights of all Algerians. We will continue to consult closely with 
France and other concerned European governments on a coordinated Western 
approach to the Algerian crisis. 
Mr. Chairman, recent developments in the Middle East present the United 
States with both opportunities and challenges. Opportunities abound in a 
region where the people and governments are striving for more peaceful 
and cooperative relations. We are committed to helping further this 
trend: facilitating negotiations, promoting regional economic 
cooperation, and providing political and economic support to the 
region's peacemakers. At the same time, we continue to face formidable 
challenges to security in this volatile region. This Administration will 
remain fully engaged to ensure that America's vital national interests 
are safeguarded.(###) 

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