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U.S. Department of State
93/08/31 Remarks following meeting with Amb. Jim Jones
Office of the Spokesman


For Immediate Release                            August 31, 1993


                            REMARKS BY
              SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
                      FOLLOWING MEETING WITH
               U.S. AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO JIM JONES
                         Washington, D.C.
                         August 31, 1993


SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good morning.  It's nice to be back in 
Washington.  I just want to say that the United States is very fortunate 
to have a person of Jim Jones' extraordinary caliber and experience to 
represent us in Mexico.  We are long-time friends, having served 
together in the Johnson Administration; and I am particularly pleased 
that he is going to be our Ambassador to Mexico.

As he takes up his post, we stand on the verge of an era of new 
cooperation between the United States and Mexico that I believe will 
benefit both nations.  The President and I will be working closely with 
Ambassador Jones and others to win approval of the North American Free 
Trade Agreement.  We are doing this because it is in the overriding 
interest of the United States.  I am confident and I know that 
Ambassador Jones feels as I do that once the debate is joined and the 
issues are fully before the American people, Congress will approve 
NAFTA.

NAFTA is a good deal for the American economy.  Mexico is our fastest 
growing major export market.  U. S. exports to Mexico now account for an 
estimated 700,000 American jobs; and NAFTA will open the Mexican market 
even further, increase U. S. exports to Mexico, and create an estimated 
200,000 additional jobs by 1995.

For over half a century, every American President, Democratic and 
Republican, has stood for close cooperation and more open trade between 
the United States and Latin America, particularly Mexico.  Now we can 
signal to the nations of the entire hemisphere that the United States is 
committed to working with them, to expand free trade, and to strengthen 
democracy.

NAFTA will also enable us to expand our cooperation with Mexico on a 
number of other vital issues, issues ranging from the environment and 
labor to narcotics and immigration.

NAFTA really in its approval will demonstrate our strong commitment to 
global leadership in matters of trade.  It's good economic policy and 
it's good foreign policy.  It's a once-in-a-generation opportunity that 
must not be lost.

I'd like to invite Ambassador Jones to make any comments he might like 
to make this morning.  Jim.

AMBASSADOR JONES:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  It's indeed an honor to 
have been selected by you and President Clinton to represent our country 
in Mexico.  

Long before I had any idea I might be doing this, and when I was running 
the stock exchange in New York, I had said that NAFTA is the most 
important foreign policy issue this Congress is going to face probably 
in this decade.  It extends far beyond the trade agreement because it 
extends the United States leadership all over the world, particularly 
the developing world, which is where the markets are increasing.

I believe it is that important, and I believe because it is in the best 
interest of the United States that the Congress will approve this.

I also had the privilege of being chairman of the American Business 
Conference these past four years, and these are the hundred fastest 
growing companies in the United States.  Every one of those companies 
supports NAFTA, because they have workers who before had lower-paying 
jobs that because of being able to go into the market in Mexico and to 
sell their goods and services are now having higher-paying jobs.  I 
would think when the facts are out, the Congress is not going to say to 
those 700,000 workers who have higher-paying jobs because of trade with 
Mexico that we are going to take those jobs away from you; and for that 
reason and others, I think NAFTA can be and should be approved.

Next week I'll be going to Mexico and doing everything I can to help 
cement the partnership relationship between the United States and 
Mexico, and it is indeed an honor to serve our country in this way.

Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Thank you, Jim.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, as you noted, because of vacation we haven't 
had an opportunity to see you for a while.  I hope you'll permit us to 
ask a few questions on the Middle East  peace process, which has taken 
an interesting turn in the last few days.

First of all, can you tell us if the United States supports, endorses, 
throws its weight behind the agreement that you have been briefed on now 
between the Israeli Government and the PLO?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Absolutely.  We strongly support the agreement.  
I believe it is a conceptual breakthrough.  Any suggestion that we don't 
support it is utterly without basis.

The United States and Russia, as you know, are the co-sponsors of the 
peace process.  Our aim is to achieve a peaceful settlement in the 
Middle East, and this is a major step in that direction.  We've been 
working toward that end.

Since I have come into office, I have done what I can to move in that 
direction, first through defusing the deportee issue and then taking 
other steps in the Middle East to emphasize our role as full partner; 
but there comes a time in almost any negotiation -- I have learned this 
as both a lawyer and a mediator -- when it's good for the parties to get 
together and meet face to face, and that's what's happened here.  They 
have made what I say is a real conceptual breakthrough, and the United 
States is very pleased by this and looks forward to moving that into 
reality here in the peace process.

There's a great deal of work to be done, but I want to emphasize the 
importance of what has already been done and pay tribute to both of the 
parties for having made the progress they have, but also indicate our 
appreciation to the Government of Norway, and particularly Foreign 
Minister Holst, for having played an important role in hosting the 
parties there in Norway and enabling them to make the progress that they 
have.

QUESTION:  How will it be brought into reality?  Will the U.S. have to 
sign this in any way?  Will the PLO and Israel have to come to 
Washington to do that?  Will it be done elsewhere?  How will it become a 
reality?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, there are a number of modalities to be 
worked out.  Indeed, I've been on the telephone over the weekend and 
again this morning to work out those modalities.  I do think it is 
desirable to have it made part of the peace process here under the 
sponsorship of the United States and Russia.

I talked to Foreign Minister Kozyrev about that this morning, and we are 
working together to try to take those next steps.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, the Palestinians see this as only a step 
toward statehood.  Opponents have been described as crazy and radical, 
but there are serious tens of thousands of people in Israel and 
elsewhere concerned that this is a step toward a Palestinian state and 
not necessarily a friendly state.

You support the process.  Do you support that goal?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  No, I'd have to say that the agreement speaks 
for itself on that subject.  It is an agreement over the next five-year 
period.  It spells out a number of steps to be taken during that period.  
What happens at the end of that is part of the final status 
negotiations.  The United States has never supported in those terms that 
you mention, but that's really part of the negotiation that's going to 
take place.

I would say on that subject, the agreement which is quite complete and 
quite explicit speaks for itself as to what's to happen during the five-
year period -- a number of very concrete steps -- but it does not take 
the step that you mention.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, do you expect this to be wrapped up in a 
couple of days as the Palestinians --

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  It's never very useful to set particular 
deadlines.  That can create an artificial sense.  I think everyone wants 
to work as rapidly as we can to formalize this agreement and then begin 
to take the many steps that are necessary to carry out the agreement.

There is a great deal of work to be done; and, although the United 
States has welcomed the process -- welcomed it very much in Oslo -- we 
want to be side by side with the parties, helping them move forward into 
the next step.  So, John, I don't want to set a particular deadline, but 
I do think it is desirable that the agreement be formalized at an early 
date.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, you said wanted to move side by side with the 
parties.  How can you be side by side with the parties without talking 
to the PLO?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, there are representatives here in 
Washington that we've been talking with all through the negotiations.  
We're talking to the people that we've been talking with in the past, 
and we'll continue to do that.  They're meeting here in Washington at 
the present time.

QUESTION:  But they haven't been involved in negotiating this agreement, 
as they will readily tell you -- tell anyone who  asks.  Is there any 
change in the U.S. posture toward dealing with somebody who claims to be 
part of this negotiating process?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  There's been no change in our policy with 
respect to the PLO at the present time.  On the other hand, this is a 
rapidly changing environment.  We're following developments very 
closely.  In the past, we have had our concerns; but, as I say, there 
are major developments taking place which we'll be following very 
carefully.

At the same time, it would be my expectations that those who have been 
involved in the negotiating process here will continue to play an 
important role in the implementation of the agreement that's been 
reached.

QUESTION:  Your statement seems to indicate that the United States is 
reconsidering its opposition to dealing with the PLO.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  What I said, John, is that there'd been no 
change in our policy at the present time.  We have had our concerns in 
the past, but there are obviously developments taking place which we're 
going to be following very carefully; and that's all I am prepared to 
say at the present time.

QUESTION:  Will Foreign Minister Kozyrev be coming to Washington soon?

(Multiple Questions)

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  John, for a question.

QUESTION:  You didn't answer one of the earlier questions on how --

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, when I get multiple questions, it's rather 
hard for me, John.

QUESTION:  How the United States is prepared to stand behind or help be 
a guarantor in some way to this agreement.  Are we prepared to write 
checks?  Is the United States prepared to provide security guarantees?  
Where's the U.S. role come in here on those two issues?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, the United States is certainly prepared to 
continue to carry out our role as a co-sponsor of these agreements.  
We're also prepared to continue to play the role of honest broker or 
full partner.

With respect to the funding aspects of it, it's clear that the early 
empowerment aspects of the agreement will require some funding to be 
carried out, and we will be glad to assist in trying to develop 
sufficient funds for the Palestinians to carry out their 
responsibilities under the agreement.

As far as security guarantees are concerned, on your question as to 
that, I don't see that there are any that are called for; but we will be 
continuing to work with the parties and trying to play a facilitating 
role, enabling them to move forward with the implementation of this 
agreement.

QUESTION:  Will Minister Kozyrev be coming to Washington to participate 
in the finalization, or however you want to characterize it, of this 
agreement?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Those are questions that will have to be 
developed as we move along here.  As I say, the modalities are being 
considered quite actively at the present time, but there are a number of 
steps to be taken before we reach that point.

Thanks very much.  I appreciate it very much.

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