Return to: Index of 1993 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

Note: This Electronic Research Collection is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the State Department homepage.
U.S. Department of State
93/02/01 Excerpts from opening statement at news conference at the USUN
Office of the Spokesman


Progress on Resolving Israeli Deportation Issue
Secretary Christopher
Excerpts from opening statement 
at a news conference
US Mission to the United Nations
New York City
February 1, 1993

I have come here on my first trip outside Washington as Secretary of 
State, taking an early opportunity to confer personally with the 
Secretary General of the United Nations [Boutros Boutros-Ghali].

I came here at this early juncture to underscore my support for the role 
of the United Nations at this critical time, and at this time as we 
enter the post-Cold War era.

We're very grateful to the Secretary General for his determined efforts 
to guide the United Nations into this new period.  He's really an 
extraordinary Secretary General, and I look forward to working with him 
during my tenure.

I'm also pleased to be here on the occasion of Ambassador Madeleine 
Albright's first day here at the United Nations.  She's an outstanding 
American who's a long-time friend of mine and a close adviser to 
President Clinton.   His regard for her is such that he has named her to 
be a member of his Cabinet and has asked that she come to Washington for 
all of the critical meetings on the United Nations matters which, I must 
say, include virtually all matters these days.  She'll be a superb UN 
Ambassador, and I look forward to working closely with her during her 
tenure.

We've had a very constructive day here at the United Nations.  I want to 
express my admiration for the Secretary General's efforts to come to 
grips with the pressures placed on the United Nations and its expanding 
role in the world.

As the largest contributor to the United Nations, the United States will 
play an aggressive and strong role in connection with UN affairs.

Now, I do have a specific announcement that I'd like to make with 
respect to the deportation issue, a matter that I discussed at some 
length with the Secretary General this afternoon.

President Clinton and I are pleased to announce that based upon 
intensive efforts and consultations over the last several days, there 
has been a breakthrough in our efforts with respect to the deportation 
issue.

Under the terms of the process that Israel has announced today, Israel 
will permit a significant number of the deportees to return either to 
Israel or to the Occupied Territories within the next several days.

Israel also will reduce the sentences of all other deportees, and, as a 
matter of arithmetic, this means that all the deportees will be able to 
return before the end of this calendar year.

Israel also will maintain an appeals and review process for the 
deportees, which means that some of them may be returned even before the 
end of the calendar year.

And, finally--and this is important to us--the process that Israel is 
announcing assures the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the 
deportees where they are at the present time.

The United States believes that this process, which is being announced 
by Israel today, is consistent with UN Resolution 799 on the deportees.  
As a consequence of the steps that Israel will take, we believe that 
further action by the Security Council is unnecessary and could even 
undercut the process, which is already underway.

The United States will consult further with the Secretary General about 
this matter, but, I repeat, we believe that further steps here in the 
Security Council are unnecessary, and that taking of further steps might 
undercut the process which is underway and which we think is very 
important.

With the steps announced today, the United States believes it's time to 
look ahead and to concentrate our efforts on invigorating and restarting 
the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.  We reiterate our commitment to 
this negotiating process, and we hope to help bring the negotiations to 
fruition.

The United States and Russia as co-sponsors will be conferring on these 
matters shortly in an attempt to help bring the parties back to the 
table.  The peace negotiations offer the only real opportunity to 
address the underlying problems that give rise to the tension, violence, 
and confrontations among the Arabs, Israelis, and the Palestinians.

. . . I want to emphasize . . . that we believe that the peace 
negotiations are the only practical avenue by which we can attain the 
kind of peace and tranquility which has been so long denied to the 
people of this region. 

(###)