[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[March 15, 1995]
[Pages 357-358]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at a State Dinner Honoring King Hassan II of Morocco
March 15, 1995

    Ladies and gentlemen, Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, members 
of the Moroccan delegation, distinguished guests: Hillary and I are 
delighted to welcome you to America's home. I have been grateful for 
this opportunity to get to know Your Majesty and to appreciate

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the wise counsel you have given to every American President since John 
    In fact, your relationship with our country's leaders, I have 
learned, goes back even further than that. In January of 1943, at the 
height of World War II, you were present when your father, Mohammed V, 
hosted the Casablanca summit between President Roosevelt and Prime 
Minister Churchill. History does not record what advice you gave 
President Roosevelt and the Prime Minister, but I did note that, 
thereafter, the war turned decisively to the Allies' advantage. 
[Laughter] So, clearly, you gave good advice.
    I also noted that when President Roosevelt and Prime Minister 
Churchill were in Casablanca, Mr. Roosevelt thought he had to come home 
and go to work, and Prime Minister Churchill made him stay in Morocco 
for 3 more days to see the beautiful sights. My staff never lets me do 
that. [Laughter] So we have not made progress in every respect since the 
    Your Majesty, you have written that in the joyous moment following 
the declaration of Morocco's independence, your father pulled you aside 
and said, ``We have passed through a difficult trial. But the road ahead 
will be long and hard. We do not have the right to disappoint the 
faithful and courageous people who have placed their trust in us.'' For 
the past 34 years, you have lived by your father's admonition. And by 
pursuing progress for the Moroccan people and peace for all the peoples 
of your region, you have truly fulfilled his legacy.
    The American people especially admire your steadfast devotion to 
securing a comprehensive peace among all the peoples of the Middle East. 
In a region where passion and hatred have so often overwhelmed cooler 
heads and clearer minds, yours has always been a voice of reason and 
tolerance. Quoting from the Koran, you have said, ``If two groups of 
believers fight each other, endeavor to reconcile them.'' You have been 
tireless in your pursuit of reconciliation. You have helped the 
countries of the Middle East turn on the past and start a new chapter of 
peaceful coexistence.
    Your Majesty, you have spoken of your beloved Morocco as a bridge 
between East and West, between Islam and the Judeo-Christian faiths, 
between respect for tradition and openness to the future. Under your 
leadership, that bridge, which runs from the tip of Europe to the sands 
of the Sahara and joins the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, that bridge 
has risen high as a beacon of hope.
    And for all those reasons, ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, 
please join me in raising a glass to His Majesty, King Hassan II, to the 
Prince and the Princess who are here, and to the people of Morocco, who 
have done so much to build the bridges of understanding and peace.

Note: The President spoke at 8:45 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the 
White House.