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U.S. Department of State 
96/06/14 Address: Middle East & North Africa 
Office of the Spokesman 
 
 
 
 
                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                        Office of the Spokesman 
 
____________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                  June 14, 1996 
As Prepared for Delivery 
 
 
            ADDRESS BY SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                  TO THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS 
                 CONFERENCE ON INVESTING IN THE FUTURE:  
         THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA IN THE NEXT CENTURY 
 
                         NEW YORK, NEW YORK     
                           June 14, 1996 
 
 
 
I want to thank Bill Lowrie very much for that kind introduction.  And 
thank you for Amoco's leadership in making the private sector our 
partner in promoting peace and prosperity in the Middle East. 
 
It is a great pleasure to be here for this important conference.  Under 
Les Gelb's leadership, the Council on Foreign Relations has continued to 
do great work -- including its enormously constructive role in the 
Middle East Economic Summits.  Today's gathering marks another milestone 
in that process, and I want to express my appreciation to Les, to Henry 
Siegman, and to the entire Council for their outstanding efforts. 
 
Looking at this audience, I am struck by the fact that an event like 
this would have been unthinkable just three and a half years ago when I 
became Secretary of State.  You are indeed pioneers of peace -- 
entrepreneurs and executives from the United States, Israel, and across 
the Arab world, now preparing for your third Economic Summit this 
November in Cairo.  Starting in Casablanca in 1994 and continuing last 
year in Amman, the relationships you have developed and the projects you 
have launched have shattered taboos that stood for half a century.  You 
have established an unprecedented web of contacts and cooperation.  You 
are helping to ln 20 years ago, and American 
leadership has been critical to each of its successes:  the 
disengagement agreements after the 1973 War; the peace treaty between 
Egypt and Israel; the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference; and the remarkable 
achievements of the past three years. 
 
Our vital national interests and unique leadership role confer upon the 
United States a special responsibility to ensure that these tremendous 
strides toward peace are preserved.  Peace will strengthen the security 
of Israel and our key Arab partners.  Peace will enhance regional 
stability and our access to the Gulf's vital oil supplies.  
 
Peace will also allow us and our friends to focus on the common dangers 
that threaten us all -- from rogue states like Iraq and Iran to violent 
extremism and terror.At this time of transition in Israel, as we await 
the formation of a new government, it is worth taking a few minutes to 
remind ourselves just how much the peace process has accomplished since 
1993 -- and how great a stake we have in continued progress. 
 
First, Israel and the Palestinians have reached a series of 
landmarkagreements.  Palestinians now govern themselves throughout Gaza 
and most cities of the West Bank.  Israeli soldiers no longer face the 
burden of patrolling those streets.  Where once there was an intifada, 
Israeli and Palestinian security forces now cooperate to root out the 
terrorist infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  The Palestinian 
National Council voted overwhelmingly this spring to remove from its 
charter those egregious clauses denying Israel's right to exist.   
 
Second, Israel's 1993 agreement with the Palestinians helped make 
possible the peace treaty with Jordan one year later.  Today, Israel and 
Jordan are establishing cooperative relations across the full range of 
political, economic, and security issues.  Tens of thousands of Israeli 
and Jordanian tourists have visited each others' countries.  Later this 
month, Jordan will host a reunion of 200 Arab and Israeli teenagers -- 
participants in a program called Seeds of Peace dedicated to building a 
warm peace.  And I will never forget King Hussein's moving eulogy at 
Prime Minister Rabin's funeral.  The King's presence and his eloquence 
on such a sad day profoundly reflected how much the region has changed. 
 
Third, the progress achieved in the peace process has helped spur 
unprecedented movement in Israel's relations with the broader Arab 
world.  Diplomatic offices have been exchanged with Morocco, Tunisia and 
Mauritania, and trade offices with Qatar and Oman.  The secondary 
economic boycott has all but withered away.  With the exception of Iraq, 
Libya, and Sudan, every Arab League member has participated in some 
aspect of the peace process -- from the multilateral negotiations on 
issues like water, refugees, and arms control to the Economic Summits in 
Casablanca and Amman. 
 
Perhaps no single event better captured this extraordinary 
transformation than the Summit of Peacemakers held three months ago in 
Sharm el-Sheikh.  Virtually overnight, President Clinton and President 
Mubarak brought together 29 world leaders, including 14 from the Arab 
world.  They gathered not to celebrate a breakthrough in the peace 
process, but to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel to defend the 
process against a wave of terrorism.   
 
These are truly historic achievements.  They have advanced the vital 
interests of Israel, her Arab partners, as well as the United States.  
They have come about with the help of a consistent American approach to 
the Middle East that has been guided by a set of core principles.  Above 
all, these include our unshakable commitment to Israel's security and to 
a strong U.S.-Israeli partnership -- and our determination to work with 
Israel and her Arab neighbors to achieve our common goals of peace and 
security.  We know that there can be no real peace without security, and 
there can be no real security without peace.  
 
That is why we will work with Israel and the Palestinians to help them 
implement the agreements they have reached and to resolve outstanding 
issues.  We will help to strengthen Israel's peace treaties with Egypt 
and Jordan.  We will continue to work toward a comprehensive peace 
through a resumption of negotiations between Israel and Syria and 
between Israel and Lebanon.  And we will strive to help deepen and 
broaden relations between Israel and the wider Arab world. 
 
In each of these areas, the United States will work closely with 
Israel's new government, led by Prime Minister-elect Netanyahu.  The 
recent elections once again underscored the vibrance and strength of 
Israel's democracy.  The United States enjoyed a strong and productive 
relationship with the governments of Prime Ministers Rabin and Peres -- 
statesmen of extraordinary vision and courage.  Now we hope to build an 
equally strong and productive relationship with the new Israeli Prime 
Minister and his team. 
 
President Clinton and I have been in close touch with Mr. Netanyahu 
since the elections, and we look forward to welcoming him to Washington 
soon after he forms his government.  We will be consulting closely with 
him and with our Arab partners on how best to sustain the peace process.   
 
In this regard, we welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu's commitment to 
continue the peace process.  We are urging our Arab friends not to 
prejudge the new government in Israel.  Now, during this period of 
transition, it is essential to avoid actions or statements that close 
doors and risk polarizing the situation and raising tensions.  It is 
critical that we remain focused on preserving the achievements of the 
past three years and maintaining the momentum necessary to make new 
gains.  It is also critical that we maintain our commitment to building 
the economic foundations necessary for a lasting peace.  Growing 
opportunity can ease the conflicts and hatreds that have held back the 
Middle East for half a century.  Rising prosperity can help the Middle 
East move forward into a new millenium of reconciliation, cooperation 
and full integration with the global economy. 
 
This commitment to a prosperous peace is consistent with President 
Clinton's strategic judgment that America's economic and political 
interests are intertwined around the world.  Opening markets and 
expanding trade and investment abroad not only creates jobs at home, it 
strengthens our political relationships and advances our strategic 
interests at the same time.  As a former Secretary of State, Cordell 
Hull, said over half a century ago, "When goods move, soldiers don't."  
That is precisely the principle behind the Middle East Economic Summit 
process. 
   
Our commitment to this process reflects our conviction that while it may 
take politicians and diplomats to make peace, it takes workers and 
businesses to build peace.  Building peace means innaugurating the new 
bus service between Israel and Jordan -- and regular flights between Ben 
Gurion Airport and Amman.  Building peace means the regional airport at 
Aqaba to bring tourists to the spot where Jordan and Israel meet astride 
the mountains and deserts along the Red Sea.  Building peace means a new 
power plant on the shores of the Mediterranean in Gaza.  And building 
peace means the Amoco pipeline -- the "peace pipeline" -- that will 
supply Egyptian natural gas to Israel.   
 
These projects embody the vision that first brought many of us together 
in Casablanca nearly two years ago.  Then, last October in Amman, we 
agreed to establish a set of regional institutions to promote the 
region's economic development and integration:  The Middle East 
Development Bank will support key private sector projects and focus on 
the region's critical infrastructure needs.  We hope to open the offices 
of the Bank at the Cairo Economic Summit this fall. 
 
The Middle East-Mediterranean Travel and Tourism Association will open 
the region's wonders to the world and spur economic growth.  The 
Regional Business Council will become a vital forum for exchanging 
business information, developing investment opportunities and building a 
world-class business environment. 
 
As you have been discussing at this Conference, we will build on these 
achievements at the Cairo Summit.  The Summit will focus government and 
business leaders on the essential steps that must be taken in key areas 
such as deregulation, privatization, and other economic reforms.  And it 
will emphasize the role of small and medium enterprises in the region.  
 
Most important, the Cairo Summit will bring together hundreds of 
business people from across the region and around the world to generate 
business deals and projects.  The Summit will once again dramatize the 
economic benefits of peace -- and the immense potential for economic 
cooperation across the Middle East.  But to fulfill that potential, 
governments should remove the economic obstacles that stand in the way 
of growth and opportunity.  Governments should take steps to overcome 
the legacy of excessivegovernment regulation and inefficient public 
investment if they want to attract local and foreign capital back to the 
region. 
 
They should tear down tariff and non-tariff barriers if they want to 
encourage trade, especially among the countries of the region.  And they 
should reform capital markets, update tax systems and ensure fair 
business practices if they want to compete in the global economy of the 
twenty-first century. 
 
Some encouraging reforms are taking root.  Liberalization has spurred 
growth and attracted foreign investment to Tunisia and Morocco.  
Jordan's new investment code is helping to attract foreign capital -- 
much of which is being invested in that country's spectacular tourism 
boom.  Now Egypt is privatizing companies, reforming banking laws, 
opening up business loans, and streamlining customs procedures to 
facilitate trade.  We are working with Egypt to support these and other 
reforms through the partnership led by President Mubarak and Vice 
President Gore. 
 
Israel, too, has a new opportunity to deepen the already far-reaching 
economic reforms that it has undertaken in recent years.  We welcome 
Prime Minister-elect Netanyahu's commitment to intensify essential 
reforms, such as privatization and deregulation.  This course will help 
sustain the remarkable economic growth and inward investment that Israel 
has enjoyed since the peace process began to produce results. 
 
As the economies of the region become more open and integrated, economic 
growth in Israel can present opportunities to Israel's Arab neighbors -- 
especially the Palestinians.  Israel's new government can seize the 
initiative by finding ways to expand trade with Jordan and increase 
economic interaction with the West Bank and Gaza.  The United States is 
prepared to help by providing free trade privileges to the Palestinians 
similar to those that Israel enjoys.  The Clinton Administration is 
working with Congress to secure this authority. 
 
The political and economic futures of the Middle East are inextricably 
linked.  The success of the peace process over the last three years has 
been the essential condition for creating the region's new economic 
opportunities.  The readiness of business, in turn, to seize these 
opportunities has helped to strengthen the process by demonstrating the 
potential of peace to lift the lives of both Arabs and Israelis.   
 
Today, the challenge we face is clear:  We must ensure that our efforts 
on both the diplomatic and economic fronts are sustained -- and that our 
shared goal of peace and prosperity continues to be advanced. 
 
Ours is an uncommon enterprise with a common purpose.  We ask leaders 
and peoples to take risks for peace.  We ask companies and entrepreneurs 
to take risks for profit -- in the name of peace.  We ask governments to 
encourage business to take those risks by reforming and deregulating 
their economies.  And we ask the whole world to join us. 
 
Thank you very much.   
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