93/10/01 Remarks with Belgian ForMin Claes: Conf. to Support Mid-East (Washington, D.C)  Return to: Index of 1993 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

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U.S. Department of State
93/10/01 Remarks with Belgian ForMin Claes: Conf. to Support Mid-East

                     U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                     Office of the Spokesman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            October 1, 1993

                            REMARKS BY

                         Washington, D.C.
                         October 1, 1993

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Thank you again for your cooperation.  Our 
session this morning, I think it's fair to say, was a striking success.  
On behalf of Secretary Bentsen and Foreign Minister Kozyrev, Minister 
Federov, I want to thank you all for attending the conference and for 
your participation and your generosity.

In the coming months, we must make sure that we continue to work 
together to make sure that the pledges are fulfilled and that they're 
translated into tangible improvements on the ground in the occupied 

At the same time, we must all redouble our efforts to work for a 
comprehensive peace in the region.  The Israeli-Palestinian agreements 
are a crucial component, an important building block, but they must be 
fortified by progress on the other tracks.

Speaking of other tracks and speaking particularly of the multilateral 
track, I want to note how pleased I am that the first of the 
multilateral meetings will take place in the region when Tunisia hosts 
the refugee group in October and Egypt hosts the environmental group in 
December.  I hope there will be many other meetings of the portions of 
the multilateral track in the region in the near future.

As we've heard this morning and as you could tell from the speakers, the 
European Community is playing a very vital role in providing resources 
and providing leadership.  The EC financial commitment complements its 
active leadership in the multilateral track.

The EC is a prime example of how integration of economies can bring 
former adversaries together in producing stability and prosperity in a 
region.  I'm pleased now to introduce Foreign Minister Claes of Belgium, 
who is President of the Council of  Ministers of the European Community 
for this period, and I introduce him to speak to you on this occasion.  
Foreign Minister Claes.


FOREIGN MINISTER CLAES:  Mr. Secretary of State, Ministers, 
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.  The history of mankind teaches us 
that going to war is easier than making peace.  Whether it is inherent 
to human nature or not, I leave to the reflections of psychologists and 

It is, therefore, with enthusiasm that we all have greeted the vision 
and courage of the leaders who took the decisive step to sign the 
Israeli-Palestinian Agreement, in our view, by (inaudible) in the Middle 
East peace process.  Our response was all the more swift and positive 
and, indeed, it represents the concretization of ideas Europe has 
fostered since many years.

The Declaration of Venice of 1980, for example, contained ideas which 
for some were unspeakable, and even unthinkable, at that time.  When we 
consider what has been achieved now, it had some prophetic value.  But 
the step which has been taken now, however far-reaching and important, 
will only take its full significance if the momentum of the peace 
process is maintained and if all the countries involved pursue their 
efforts in order to achieve a complete, just, and lasting peace.

Peace will only be global when conditions will be realized for a new 
start in the economic and social development of the region.

A population frustrated in its ambitions for education, welfare, public 
health and prosperity would be an easy prey for political unrest.  This 
would in turn continue to be a threat to the stability of the region and 
of the world.

The sponsors of the Madrid Conference and the participating countries 
were very conscious of the economic and social aspects of any lasting 

The multilateral track of the conference was created in order to give 
hope to populations who have suffered wars rather than (inaudible) 
during more than 45 years.  The bilateral track was created to solve the 
problems of the past.  The multilateral track looks resolutely to the 

Ladies and gentlemen, I shall not dwell upon the amount of our 
contributions.  The figures have already been quoted.  Let me just say 
that they have an important significance.  They represent our 
commitment.  They are the consequence of our long-lasting support for 
the peace process.  They mean that we have firm hopes for the 
development of a region which is culturally and spiritually one of the 
sources of our civilization.

It is also an act of faith in the various peoples who will learn to live 
together.  We are convinced that the qualities, the level of education 
and of professional qualifications, which exist in the region, 
constitute assets for a brilliant future and rapid development.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have addressed my congratulations to the 
courageous leaders who have made the first steps towards peace.  I would 
fail to my duty if I didn't mention also the role played by the 
Norwegian Foreign Minister in this achievement.  He deserves our 
gratitude.  And I would like to conclude in commending all those who 
support their efforts.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate once more the 
host country for the brilliant organization of this conference on such 
short notice.

Thank you.  (Applause)


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