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U.S. Department of Stat4e
93/02/22 Remarks with Israeli ForMin Peres, Jerusalem
Office of the Spokesman

Joint remarks by 
Secretary of State Warren Christopher 
Israeli Foreign Minister Peres

February 22, 1993 

Foreign Minister Peres:  Secretary Christopher, I would like to welcome 
you here in our country as a cherished guest, representing a mission of 
the utmost importance for us, for the region, for peace.  We know that 
you are representing an administration that has raised the hopes of the 
whole of the free world, that has started anew the process of peace, and 
we do hope that is the first step in the renewal of the peace 
negotiations--something that we are awaiting anxiously, with great 
expectation.  We welcome you here with great respect, hope, and 
friendship.  You know how dear the relations between the United States 
and Israel are to all of us, and I am sure that you will represent it 
with great devotion and talent.  Welcome to Israel.

Secretary Christopher:  Thank you Mr. Foreign Minister.  It is a great 
honor to be welcomed by the distinguished Foreign Minister who has a 
worldwide reputation as a person who has sought peace for most of his 
adult life and someone who has great respect in my country.  Thank you 
ever so much for the honor you have served me by being out to welcome 

It is a great pleasure to visit Israel on my first trip abroad as 
Secretary of State.  I have much to learn about this ancient land and 
this modern state.  I hope to use this opportunity to begin to know and 
see Israel and its people.  I want to gain a better understanding of the 
challenges and opportunities that you face.  As I arrive in Israel this 
evening, there are several things about which President Clinton and I 
are very certain.

First, the relationship between the United States and Israel is a 
special relationship for special reasons.  It is based upon shared 
interests, shared values, and a shared commitment to democracy, 
pluralism, and respect for the individual.  The ties between our two 
countries have proved strong and resilient, and President Clinton is 
determined to make them even stronger and more resilient. 

Second, I know that to understand Israel--Israel's present and its 
future--it is essential to understand Israel's past.  History has cast a 
long shadow over the people of this Jewish state.  The Israeli people 
have had to fight war and terrorism to defend the state.  I understand 
this struggle for survival.  That's why the United States is unalterably 
committed to Israel's security.  That commitment will not change.

Third, real security can only be brought about by real peace.  But we 
also know that peace won't be possible unless Israel is fully secure.  
The Israeli people want peace--not just peace meaning the absence of 
war, but peace reflected in lasting treaties, normalized relationships, 
and real reconciliation.

It is with this in mind that President Clinton has sent me to this 
region to assess, to consult, and to focus the parties--all the parties-
-on the importance of resuming negotiations at the very earliest date.  
So I am very much looking forward to my meetings with Prime Minister 
Rabin, with Foreign Minister Peres, and later with the Palestinians.

As in the period before Madrid, and now with the help of the United 
States as a full partner, the parties can build on the substance of 
structure of real peace through direct negotiations.  Working together, 
the United States, Israel, and the Arab and the Palestinian negotiating 
parties can turn this process into one of real breakthroughs and 
achievements rather than missed opportunities.