[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book II)]
[October 1, 1993]
[Pages 1642-1643]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Members of Congress
October 1, 1993


    Q. What are you going to tell them to convince them on NAFTA?
    The President. We're going to have just a free-flowing conversation 
about NAFTA. I'm going to make the arguments that I think are important, 
and try to answer some questions and try to identify the continuing 
concerns of these Members. I'm very heartened, I must say, by the 
article in the Los Angeles Times today, showing that public opinion has 
had a rather marked shift in favor of the agreement in the last 10 days. 
And I think the more people think about what happens if you don't do it 
as com-

[[Page 1643]]

pared to what happens if you do, the problems that people associate with 
the agreement will seem to be associated with the status quo more than 
with the agreement. And that's what I believe. So we're going to talk 
about that, and we're just going to keep working on it, to see if we can 
pass it.

Middle East Peace Process

    Q. Mr. President, how did you manage to convince Crown Prince Hassan 
and Foreign Minister Peres to come over to the White House this 
afternoon and have this open meeting? There have been secret meetings 
before, but this is the first time they've met at that kind of an open 
level. How important is it?
    The President. I think it's quite important, because I think it's 
important that their people see them working together. As you know, I 
had hoped we would see some more states, Arab states, willing to lift 
the embargo. And right now, we're not making a lot of progress on that, 
but I think we will. I think this is an important next step. We just 
have to get these folks comfortable dealing with each other and being 
seen dealing with each other among their own people. That was the donors 
conference that we're having in Washington today. I think it will give a 
real boost to the peace process.

Note: The exchange began at 11:08 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the 
White House. During the exchange, the President referred to Crown Prince 
Hassan of Jordan and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of Israel. A tape was 
not available for verification of the content of this exchange.