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U.S. Department of State
96/06/25 Remarks before New Israeli Cabinet
Office of the Spokesman

                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                        Office of the Spokesman 

For Immediate Release                                  June 25, 1996

                               REMARKS BY 
                             June 25, 1996 
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  Mr. Secretary, it is a special pleasure for 
me, both personally and on behalf of my colleagues in the government, to 
welcome you and your staff to Jerusalem.  Mr. Secretary of State 
Christopher, is one of the greatest diplomats of our time and he is a 
tireless servant of peace.  Chris, you have shown a personal devotion 
and dedication to the achievement of peace which I think has few equals 
in our modern diplomatic history.  I think you have also given a new 
meaning to the word 'commuting.'  Frankly, I don't know how you do it.  
I know I couldn't do it, but you seem to be up to it, tirelessly, 
relentlessly, with the goal of peace in mind.  It is our goal as well.  
I think that the relationship between the United States and Israel is 
unique in the annals of the history of nations.  I know that we share 
common interest and, common democratic ideals but, I believe, that there 
is something else that goes beyond that.  There is, I think, in the 
heart of every Israeli, a special attitude toward the United States and 
I know that there is also a great fondness for Israel among the leaders 
and representatives of the American people and the American people as a 
whole.  But the something that I am talking about goes to a deeper 
level.  In the 19th century it used to be said that every citizen of a 
free nation viewed France in a special way.  France was the repository 
and the guardian of freedom in the 19th century.  I think in the 20th 
century every citizen of a free nation -- we are a free nation -- 
believes that the ultimate guardian of freedom in this century has been 
the United States.  No people feel that in a deeper way; no people is 
attached more to that bond of freedom and the bond of democracy than the 
people of Israel, to the people of the United States.  It was from that 
spirit -- democracy and freedom -- that I welcome you here and I welcome 
the opportunity to work with you and President Clinton in the pursuit of 
peace and security for our people and all the peoples of the region. 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Prime Minister Netanyahu, we look forward to 
welcoming you, in particular, to the United States and we hope it will 
be soon.  Members of the Cabinet, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great 
honor and pleasure for me to be here this evening.  I had a very full 
and eventful day in what has become one of my most favorite cities in 
the world.  I had a good meeting with the Prime Minister and then with 
the Foreign Minister.  I had a brief chat with former Prime Minister 
Peres.  Tomorrow I leave for Cairo but, before I do so, I will be having 
breakfast with President Weizman. So, it has been a full and very 
eventful time for me.  Like so many days that I have spent here, today 
reminded me how alive and how vibrant this city is, how unique and 
diverse it is and, above all, how important the people of Israel are.  
The strength and diversity of the people of Israel have enabled this 
country to overcome tremendous challenges.  Whatever problems or 
differences that you have confronted you've managed to pull together and 
to create one of the most extraordinary societies, one of the most 
extraordinary nations in the world.   
As I look around the room tonight, and again, to meet members of the 
cabinet, I am struck by the complexities of government and the many 
facets required to manage a modern state -- science, technology, 
agriculture, finance, tourism, energy, labor, health -- just to name a 
few.  A very complex job you have, Mr. Prime Minister, in leading a 
government of this importance and complexity.  The extraordinary 
achievements that Israel has made in each of these fields, both through 
private initiative, as well as through government, demonstrate how much 
success you've had in dealing with the challenges of nation-building 
here in the twentieth century.   
What's more, I think what makes it really extraordinary, is how Israel 
has been able to make these achievements, move ahead, despite the 
constant and perilous threat to its security from those who would want 
to no longer accept Israel.  Managing this challenge to your security 
has required enormous sacrifice.   For many around the world -- for many 
around the room -- as well as many of the people of Israel.  Even so, 
you pursued the cause of peace with enormous energy and enormous 
determination.  In this, as well as many other things, the United States 
and Israel have a common goal, we want to reach that day when all the 
energies, and all of our people can be concentrated on making our 
societies a better place for our citizens to live, and not having to 
devote so much of our energies to conflict and war.  But for the time 
being, our obligations are dual and manifold -- that is to maintain 
security as well as to achieve and sustain the progress that you've made 
to this point. 
During the past several years, much progress has been made, but the road 
ahead will not be easy.  There will be difficulties ahead.  But for the 
first time I think since the Israeli-Arab conflict began, we can see the 
prospect and opportunity to end it once and for all.  The United States 
has stood, and will continue to stand, shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel 
in an effort to achieve peace and security.  The ties that bind us are 
not by any means superficial, and they are not temporary.  They are deep 
and enduring.  They are based upon shared interests, shared values and a 
common purpose.  The United States has an unshakable commitment to the 
security and well-being of Israel.  Working together, I'm confident we 
can achieve the peace and security that you and your Arab neighbors have 
been so long denied, and so long deserve.   
Mr. Prime Minister, Mrs. Netanyahu, members of the cabinet, I'm very 
grateful and honored to be here, and I look forward to having informal 
conversations with you as some of us meet for the first time.  Thank you 
so much.      
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