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95/06/11 Press Conference with King Hussein
Office of the Spokesman

                           U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                           Office of the Spokesman 
                                (Amman, Jordan) 
For Immediate Release                                 June 11, 1995 
                            PRESS CONFERENCE  
                            Basman Palace 
                            Amman, Jordan 
                            June 11, 1995 
KING HUSSEIN:  Ladies and gentlemen, I would like once again to say how 
delighted we are, myself and the government and the people of Jordan to 
receive the Secretary of State and his able colleagues and to welcome a 
very dear friend back to Jordan.  It has become almost part of the scene 
and it reflects very much the commitment and the interest of the United 
States in helping all of us in this region achieve a comprehensive peace 
and contribute our share for a more stable future for the coming 
generations, one where there hopefully will be every chance for them to 
fulfill themselves and to achieve what is worthy of them. 
I would like to say that on this occasion I have this chance to talk 
again about everything as we do, as friends do, and I am extremely 
optimistic by all I have heard.  If the Secretary of State would permit 
me a private local Jordanian joke - whenever we see our Minister of 
Finance smiling here, we are very happy because it suggests we are out 
of trouble and the future looks good.  And I have seen the Secretary 
smiling more on this visit than on any other.  I hope that I am 
justified in my optimism and I hope that this smile will always be there 
and I hope that we will achieve with the help of our friends and the 
dedication and commitment of our friends and all partaking positions of 
responsibility in this part of the world our goal of a peaceful area and 
a happy future for all our peoples. 
SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER:  Your Majesty, thank you. Let me 
say how pleased I am to be here again as a guest of his Majesty with his 
vision and courage and leadership.  A warm peace is taking shape between 
Israel and Jordan and I think it is much to his everlasting credit.  The 
United States recognizes the risks that the King and Jordan have taken 
for peace and, of course, there is an underlying reason why President 
Clinton has been determined to work with the Congress to forgive all of 
Jordan's debt to the United States.  While the legislative situation 
remains uncertain at the moment, nevertheless, it is clear that the 
President has formed a bi-partisan coalition, a consensus for a total 
debt forgiveness for Jordan.  Ultimately, through one legislative 
vehicle or another, I am sure it will get done.  
In addition to that, there is a renewed security dialogue between the 
United States and Jordan as we seek to address Jordan's security needs.  
The eyes of the region and the world will be on Jordan when the King 
hosts the Amman economic summit this October.  Working together, I think 
we can demonstrate that the Middle East is open for business, the 
private sector is welcome and that peace will bring tangible benefits to 
millions of people.  My own feeling is that there should be economic 
development in this important region before, during and after the Amman 
summit.  The summit caps that endeavor but it's something that we should 
be looking at right now as well as after the summit.    
As the King said, this is the last stop on an encouraging trip to the 
region.  There's been significant progress and renewed momentum on the 
various tracks. I briefed the King on the status of the Israeli-
Palestinian negotiations in light of the meetings I've had in just the 
last two or three days with Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat.  
Based upon those discussions I told him that the determination of both 
sides to reach an agreement implementing phase two of the Declaration of 
Principles and to do so within the time frame the parties have set.  I 
also told the King about my meetings with President Asad in Syria.  The 
fact that now a date has been set for the chiefs of staff in Washington 
to kick off the militay to military talks is, I think, a reflection of 
the fact that on that track we are reaching a new and more intensive 
Finally, I conveyed to the King a brief sense of the meeting that took 
place in Cairo last Friday between Prime Minister Rabin and President 
Mubarak.  A meeting that I think rejuvenated their friendship and 
partnership which meant so much for the cause of peace in this region.  
Serious problems remain to be solved and much, much work remains to be 
done.  I think that this trip has reinforced my feeling that there is a 
tremendous opportunity to move now toward the goal of a comprehensive 
peace,  perhaps a better opportunity than any time during the two and a 
half years that I have been in office.  The United States counts on the 
aid of Jordan, but especially on the wise counsel of King Hussein, which 
we frequently call on and always give great heed to.   
Your Majesty, as we try to maintain the momentum for peace, we want to 
work very closely with you here in Jordan. 
KING HUSSEIN:  Thank you. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Christopher, two days ago you had an unexpected meeting 
to Prime Minister Rabin and President Hafez al-Asad.  Did you discuss 
this point with President Asad in Damascus?  What was his position 
against regarding this point?   
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  At some point in the process, of course it would 
be appropriate for President Asad and Prime Minister Rabin to meet.  
That point has not yet been reached.  Of course that will be up to the 
parties, but it remains, I am sure, under consideration as we move 
through this process. 
QUESTION:  Jordan last month condemned Washington's veto of the UN 
resolution against Israel's confiscation of Arab land in Jerusalem.  Our 
officials described the move as hypocritical and that it cost doubt over 
the U.S. credibility as an honest broker in the peace talks.  What do 
you have to say to the Jordanian government and to the people about 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  What I have to say is that particular episode 
seems to be behind us, and I think we ought to put it behind us.  The 
decision of Prime Minister Rabin to put on hold the thought of a 
confiscation, I think, has been an important element in improved 
relations in this region.  I think I would be able to say that I have 
not noticed my role as a honest broker has been unduly handicapped by 
that particular action in the United Nations.  The United States 
continues to play the objective and impartial role that we can and I'm 
very gratified by the very acceptance I have by the parties in trying to 
continue that role. 
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, Jordan is about to sign an agreement with Iran 
doubling its annual trade.  Did you discuss that with King Hussein and 
did you try to persuade him to try to adhere to the U.S. boycott of 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Our views on Iran are well-known and in the 
space of an hour and a half that is not one of the subjects we 
discussed.  As I say, our views on Iran are well-known and we 
particularly urge countries not to engage in any military relationship, 
certainly not any nuclear cooperation, to avoid any soft loans or 
concessionary credits.  The United States has taken a very determined 
action and we hope that will serve as a beacon to other countries as 
they evaluate their own policies with respect to Iran which we continue 
to think poses great danger in terms of its promotion of terrorism and 
its undermining of the peace process. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Christopher, Jordan is trying to modernize its armed 
forces.  How far is the United States willing to go in meeting the 
Jordanian needs and military equipment? 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  That is a matter that's under discussion between 
the United States and appropriate officials of Jordan and the vice-
chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mr. William Owen who was here, 
and he discussed that matter with Jordanian authorities.  It's actively 
under consideration between our two countries.  I would say the first 
order of business is the Jordanian debt relief.  We intend not to make 
that our sole focus but also as I said in my remarks there is a renewed 
sense of concern about the security of Jordan and to see how the United 
States might be helpful. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, as you acknowledged the legislative situation 
regarding foreign aid and debt relief is uncertain.  Given the fact that 
you seem so optimistic about prospects for peace between Israel and 
Syria, how confident are you after conversations with Congressional 
leaders that you and the President will be able to deliver on a 
commitment financial, and economic, military and otherwise to underwrite 
any peace agreement? 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Carol, that's a hypothetical question because a 
peace agreement has not been reached and the United States has not 
suggested or proposed any financial contribution in connection with that 
peace agreement.  But recognizing that it's a very hypothetical question 
let me answer it by saying that I retain the strong conviction that if 
there is a peace agreement here in this region, particularly one that 
brings about a comprehensive peace the United States will and Congress 
will support those who take risks for peace.  We've done it in the past.  
It's so fundamentally in our national interest to do so.  We have such a 
large stake in a comprehensive peace in this region.  I would look 
forward to that day that I could try to persuade Congress to be 
supportive of whatever support we might give to those who took risks to 
achieve a comprehensive peace. 
KING HUSSEIN: Thank you very, very much. 
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