95/06/09 Press Conf.: Sec. Christopher, PM Rabin & Pres. Mubarak  Return to: Index of 1995 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

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95/06/09 Press Conf.: Sec. Christopher, PM Rabin & Pres. Mubarak
Office of the Spokesman

                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         Office of the Spokesman

                            (Cairo, Eypt)
For Immediate Release                                   June 9, 1995

                         JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE

                          Itihadiya Palace
                            Cairo, Egypt

                            June 9, 1995

PRESIDENT MUBARAK:  I welcome Prime Minister Rabin and I welcome 
Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Egypt.  I think the need is to 
meet to solve problems and meet together in a very good atmosphere.  I 
had long discussions with Prime Minister Rabin, about bilateral 
relations, and we discussed the peace process and how it is going and it 
was a very positive negotiation with the Prime Minister.  I say that 
whenever there are problems in the peace process, I think it is better 
to meet face-to-face and discuss with each other and we are used to 
this.  I met Mr. Rabin several times and Mr. Christopher several times. 
This is the only way to sit face-to-face and face the problems and see 
how we could manage to make the process continue.  We are convinced of 
peace; we have signed a peace treaty with Israel about eighteen years 
ago.  We supported the Madrid conference and we made tremendous efforts 
that that conference could convene. We made tremendous efforts and I 
think Mr. Rabin and Secretary Christopher know that with the 
Palestinians until they reached the signatures on the Declaration of 
Principles which we appreciated.  And we still are supporting the peace 
process until peace prevails all over the area.  Our negotiations were 
very positive, very good atmosphere, and I hope and I am sure that all 
will continue on the same line until peace prevails all over the area.  
Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER RABIN:  Mr. President, Secretary of State, allow me first 
to thank you for hosting this meeting in a very good atmosphere because 
we are all committed to achieve comprehensive peace in the region.  
Egypt showed courage, vision and imagination in being in the lead of 
changing the Middle East by signing a peace treaty with Israel, by 
maintaining this peace and has served as a model of what can be achieved 
in the Middle East if comprehensive peace is achieved.  It took too long 
after the signing of the peace treaty until the Madrid peace conference 
was convened and negotiations started.  

As the Prime Minister of Israel, I believe that what has been achieved 
in the last two years is no doubt a tremendous achievement - the mutual 
recognition between Israel and the PLO, looking at the PLO as the 
representative of the Palestinian people, signing the Declaration of 
Principles, signing the Cairo agreement that brought about the 
implementation of the first phase of the DOP.  Gaza and Jericho were 
first, and now we are in a very deep, serious negotiation with the PLO, 
with the Palestinian Authority, about the implementation of the second 
phase of the DOP, it is to say of the West Bank, Judea and Samaria.  
It's more complicated.  We set as a target date the first of July and we 
will do our part the most serious effort to meet this date.  There are 
some problems, but no doubt in my mind we have crossed the point of no 
return in the implementation of the whole DOP all over the area which 
the DOP refers to.   

I hope that the negotiations with Syria will be resumed but this is more 
up to the Americans to tell because we don't have the direct contacts 
and dialogue as we have with Egypt, the Palestinians, the Jordanians.  
We are busy now consolidating the second peace treaty that we signed, 
after Egypt, with Jordan and I believe we are moving ahead in the 
consolidation of the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel.  For me, 
its a tremendous change that no doubt in my mind promises we will do the 
utmost, as soon as possible, we will see a different Middle East; a 
Middle East in peace, in which each country will live in peace without 
the threat of war, hopefully without the threat of violence and 
terrorism.  And no doubt today, the main obstacle on the road to 
solution of the problem between the Palestinians and us, is the 
terrorism carried out by the enemies of peace, the enemies of the 
agreement signed between the PLO and Israel.  We hope that what was 
started by the Palestinian Authority to control this terror, and we 
appreciate the efforts of the Palestinians in doing so, no doubt will 
facilitate our capability to reach an agreement and to see a different 
situation in the region.  

Again, I would like to thank you Mr. President, the atmosphere in our 
talks, we went into details of our discussion with the Palestinians, 
what we see vis-a-vis the Syrians, and we appreciate very much your 
efforts and assistance in advancing the peace process in the whole 
region with the purpose of achieving a comprehensive peace.  

Thank you very much.  Thank you very much Mr. Secretary for your 
assistance and the United States' assistance.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Mr. President and Prime Minister.  Mr. President 
may I join in thanking you for hosting this event and also for the 
leadership that you continue to provide in the pursuit of peace here in 
the Middle East.  Mr. Prime Minister, I want to add a word of thanks to 
you for the tremendous leadership you have shown, and the courage you 
have shown in seeking peace in the Middle East.  Today's meeting 
reflects a rejuvenation of the Israeli-Egyptian partnership, a 
partnership that is so vital in the development of peace, cooperation, 
and stability here in the Middle East.  Today Egypt and Israel stand as 
bastions of peace, the region's pillars of peace.  When the two 
countries and their leaders come together in a partnership, they can 
achieve an enormous amount of progress in the pursuit of peace.  This is 
that kind of time.  

Today's meeting comes at a time of renewed efforts and renewed hopes for 
the pursuit of peace here in the Middle East.  First, the Israeli-
Palestinian negotiations have regained their momentum with renewed 
confidence on the part of both sides.  The parties are making a good 
faith effort to reach an agreement on the second phase of the 
Declaration of Principles with a target date of July 1 and a very 
serious negotiation going on.  

Second, the negotiations between Israel and Syria have moved to a new 
phase, a commitment of  the parties to hold senior level military talks 
at the end of the year is a very encouraging sign and I will be pursuing 
that when I go to Damascus tomorrow.  More must be done to take 
advantage of this great current opportunity.  One of the things we must 
do is to find an economic base for the peaceful steps that have been 
taken.  The Amman summit this October will provide an opportunity to 
pursue that and provide real economic opportunity for the people of the 
Middle East as they begin to enjoy the fruits of peace.  

Today I believe we turned a new page in the Egyptian-Israeli 
relationship, one that is promising as we build for the future, we've 
taken another step to transform the region toward peace, and to make 
peace irreversible.  Our hope is to achieve something that President 
Clinton once called "the quiet miracle of a normal life".  That's what 
the people of the Middle East deserve and I think this step today, with 
the generosity and commitment of the President and the Prime Minister, 
moves us a step closer to that normal life.  Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Prime Minister Rabin, please, I would like to hear from you 
what guarantees are you offering to alleviate international concern of 
the possibility of meeting the 1st of July deadline?

PRIME MINISTER RABIN:  It's not a deadline, but a target date and one 
has to distinguish between the two.  Allow me to say, without going too 
much into details, we are committed as far as the West Bank to bring 
about re-deployment of the Israeli forces in two phases.  

Phase number one, to make it possible for the Palestinians to have 
elections the way they decide.  We are not interfering.  What kind will 
it be, separately to the chairman of the council of the Palestinians or 
Palestinian Authority, or will it be regional.  We have to follow 
exactly what was agreed on in the DOP.  

And then there is the 2nd phase called a further re-deployment.  The 
problem is, to what extent we will be able to achieve not only agreement 
about the first phase, but also the second.  For us, it will be 
sufficient to reach an agreement on the first phase to facilitate and to 
make closer the date of elections and to discuss the further re-
deployment later on.  So far, the Palestinians would like to reach an 
agreement about both, this is the major issue that might cause delays 
but we will try our best.  And there is no need for any guarantee, the 
agreement is between us and the Palestinians and I believe they are 
committed as we are committed to carry out the agreement and implement 

QUESTION:  Every time there is a breakthrough in the peace process a 
sort of violence erupts in the Occupied Territories.  So is there any 
sort of understanding between the Israeli Government and President 
Arafat on how to curb this wave of violence and avert falling into the 
trap of terrorism?

PRIME MINISTER RABIN:  We look at the Palestinian Authority as the 
authority in the areas under their control today.  As I said, we have 
seen lately, I will define exactly the timing, more effective coping by 
the Palestinian Authority, its security forces against this kind of 
terrorism.  I believe you could hear the leaders of the Palestinian 
Authority describe these terror acts as an attempt to undermine the 
agreement we reached with the PLO and I believe that you are right, the 
terror is the main obstacle to move ahead because I have to explain to 
the people of Israel why instead of the peace I promise them, there is 
terror.  Would you buy it if you were an Israeli?  They want peace to be 
peace for both sides, security to both sides.  Both sides have to keep 
their commitments under the agreement.

QUESTION:  Mr. President, recently you had a long conversation with 
President Assad of Syria.  My question, Mr. President, is do you find in 
your mind that Syria is interested to reach an agreement with Israel or 
determined to reach an agreement with Israel by elections in Israel and 
the U.S. next year?  Second question, do you find the Syrians eager to 
conclude a separate peace between Syria and Israel or a package deal 
that will include Lebanon and get the approval of the Arab League?

PRESIDENT MUBARAK:  I believe that the Syrians and Pres. Assad are very 
serious about reaching a peace agreement.  But what you mention about 
the package or no package I did not discuss with him. I am speaking 
about the tracks, the Syrian track.  I think it is well known that the 
Lebanese will not go through with an agreement without the Syrians.  But 
I think Pres. Assad this time is much more relaxed, much more willing to 
go through the process for one reason or another, maybe because of some 
feelings that there is a good response from the Israeli side.  I hope 
that something could be concluded but I cannot tell if it will be before 
or after the elections, this depends on the negotiations that will be 
held by the end of this month.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I might add to that my expectation is that there 
will be separate agreements with Israel and Syria and Israel and 
Lebanon, not a package arrangement.  Obviously, there is a relationship 
between all four tracks, and a closer relationship between those two 
tracks, but nevertheless, I would be quite confident there will be 
separate agreements.

QUESTION: (In Arabic) From Israeli television, after your meeting today 
with Rabin could I say that the natural relations between Israel and 
Egypt are back?

PRESIDENT MUBARAK:   (in Arabic) There is no problem between us and 
between Israel.  We cooperate so that the peace process will continue.  
Any two countries in the world could have clouds appear over their 
relationship but it does not shake those relations in the way that the 
media dealt with it.  It is only a misunderstanding between two 
countries - no coldness - and the problem will be settled.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, you have been exerting efforts on the Syrian-
Israeli track, can you say that there will be an agreement concluded 
before the end of the year?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  That's certainly the hope, and I can say that 
both parties are working very hard.  I think they have a renewed sense 
of the need to make progress, I think they recognize the need indeed to 
accelerate.  That seems to be what's happening at this time, there is a 
new intensity about the negotiations.  I don't think it's helpful to try 
to predict an exact outcome or an particular time frame, but it's clear 
the parties have a sense of the need to pick up the speed, and I 
delighted that they are.

QUESTION: President Mubarak, after your talks today with Mr. Rabin and 
Mr. Christopher, did you ask Mr. Christopher to play the mediator 
between Egypt and Israel on the Israeli nuclear program? 

PRESIDENT MUBARAK:   Look, we are not seeking mediation in that sense, 
we have diplomatic ties and good ties with the Israelis but such an 
issue is not to be discussed with the press.  We may have tackled it, 
but it is not for the press.

QUESTION: What is it that you heard, Mr. President, from Pres. Assad in 
Damascus you think is required from the Government of Israel to take so 
as to enhance the Syrian-Israeli track?

PRESIDENT MUBARAK:  I have already told now, when I answered another 
question, that I didn't go through small details of the negotiations, 
but I can say I felt that Pres. Assad is willing to reach an agreement 
for peace.  As far as there is a will there is a way.

QUESTION: What will happen if you don't make the July 1 deadline?

PRIME MINISTER RABIN:  Look, I said and I will say again, it's a target 
date that we will make a sincere effort to meet.  I will try to explain 
by giving one example how it can be done and what it might entail but I 
tell you that we are committed to implement the DOP and lets not look at 
it with a stopwatch but with a historic perspective.  What we are doing 
and what we will do and we will implement.  This is the purpose.  I 
remember when we negotiated here in Cairo and in Taba the first phase.  
It took us not three months as planned, but eight months but we achieved 
it, we implemented it.  And I can assure you, the second phase will be 

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, stipulating what you said about the need of 
Egypt and Israel to turn a new page now, why is it that you insisted 
Prime Minister Rabin come to Cairo at this time when President Mubarak 
has not been to Israel?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Egypt and Israel have a long history of close 
relationships, here in this region.  After all, it was those two 
countries that signed the first peace treaty and work so close together.  
When they work together in partnership, it is clear that the circle of 
peace can be broadened and strengthened and so it seemed to be quite 
desirable to have the two of them get together.  I was coming here 
today, to Cairo, as I almost always do on my trips to the Middle East to 
meet with President Mubarak, if it worked out with PM Rabin to come 
here, it seemed to me to be highly desirable.  I'm very please he came 
and they've had the very good conversation that they had.

QUESTION: But isn't it time for President Mubarak to go to Israel?

PRIME MINISTER RABIN:  I didn't raise this issue with President Mubarak.  
He knows that whenever he decides to come to Israel he will be welcome 
and it's up to him to decide the right time.  
PRESIDENT MUBARAK:  To comment on that, I have no problem going to 
Israel and I have said that several times.  We have very good diplomatic 
relations a very good atmosphere, both are very committed to the peace 
process.  But with such an issue, why do you make such a big fuss every 
now and then?  Meeting here is it better than to go to another country?  
Maybe sometime I will go there to continue negotiations no problem for 

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, do you have specific proposals to Damascus and 
Tel Aviv to promote the Syrian-Israeli peace track in the light of an 
agreement reached later on the security arrangements and what are these 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  As you know, a framework agreement was reached 
between the two countries laying out a set of general principles with 
respect to the security matters.  There is a commitment now for the 
military leaders to meet before the end of the month in Washington to 
pursue further negotiations on the very important security issues.  The 
U.S. will be involved in those meetings, they will be under our aegis, 
we will play the usual role of assisting the parties, we will be 
probing, asking questions, helping them.  But as far as specific 
proposals are concerned, it is really up to the two countries and their 
military leaders. I think they will have very serious discussions, now 
that we have the set of principles, now that the leaders can get down to 
the practical aspects of the negotiations, that's where they are at the 
present time.  The U.S. will continue to play its role as facilitator 
trying to assist the parties.
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