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U.S. Department of State
93/04/27 Remarks at photo-op with heads of Mid-East Delegation
Office of the Spokesman

Opening remarks during photo opportunity by
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
with heads of Middle East peace talks delegations

Washington, DC
April 27, 1993

Secretary Welcomes Parties to Resumption of Middle East Peace Talks

On behalf of my Russian co-sponsors, represented here today by Mr. 
Victor Gogiditze of the Russian Foreign Office, and, of course, on 
behalf of President Clinton, I want to welcome the parties to the 
resumption of negotiations.  The parties' decision to return to the 
negotiating table reflects their commitment to the peace process, and, 
certainly, it was the right decision for them all to have made.  I'm 
grateful for it, and I'm grateful for the courage that it took these 
gentlemen to attend the meeting today.

I think we all realize that only through negotiations can we achieve 
real peace.  The parties here today, I think, understand that they all 
have an enormous responsibility.  In their hands are the decisions 
between peace and conflict.  In their hands is the opportunity for 
tranquillity in an area that has far too long known no real peace.

The key for us now is to focus on the substance of the negotiation:  not 
procedure, not process--but to get down to the real substance of the 
negotiation.  We've had, as you know, in the last several days, pre-
consultations with many of the parties, and I think that provides a good 
foundation for the talks.  Direct negotiations between the parties here 
at the table is the only way that we can achieve real peace.  The United 
States is prepared--along with our co-sponsors, the Russian Government--
to play our role as partners in this process, to assist in any way we 
can the parties to move these negotiations forward.

I am very pleased to have this opportunity.  I think this is the first 
time that a Secretary of State has welcomed the heads of the 
negotiations to begin the process, and I hope that will enable us to 
make a good deal of progress here in Washington in these negotiations, 
which start so auspiciously today.  Thank you all individually very, 
very much for coming here today.

Thank you, and, as I say, we'll have opportunities for the press to ask 
questions in the future.  And now I would like to get down to 
discussions between us.  Thank you very much. (###)

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