[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1996, Book II)]
[September 9, 1996]
[Pages 1513-1514]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of 
Israel and an Exchange With Reporters
September 9, 1996

    The President. Is everybody in? Let me just say very briefly, it's a 
pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu back to the White House; 
Mr. Gold; our new Ambassador from Israel, welcome, sir. I'm especially 
glad to have this chance to visit with him so soon after his historic 
meeting with Mr. Arafat, and I'm looking forward to getting a briefing 
on that and discussing the issues that are still outstanding.
    All of you know the United States is still committed to peace and 
security, and I think we're making some progress in that direction.

[[Page 1514]]

And I'm going to do whatever I can to advance it.

Middle East Peace Process

    Q. Mr. Prime Minister, when do you think you'll pull your occupation 
troops out of the Golan Heights and Lebanon?
    Prime Minister Netanyahu. Well, you didn't waste any time. 
[Laughter] First of all, let me say that I'm delighted to be here with 
President Clinton and Vice President Gore and Secretary Christopher.
    We've renewed our commitment to achieving peace with the 
Palestinians and with the Syrians. I think that we've been greatly 
assisted by President Clinton and his staff in resuming the negotiations 
with the Palestinians. It's not an easy road ahead, but it's one we're 
committed to and we'll pursue it. And I went over the notes of the 
conversation that I had with President Clinton a few months ago here, 
and we've pretty much done what we set out to do, again, with the 
support--I think the very important support of the United States.
    I hope to have the same kind of support as we seek to resume the 
peace talks with the Syrians. And in fact, we're enjoying American 
assistance, and so far we're awaiting the Syrian response.
    Q. Where do both of you see the process going with, first, with the 
Palestinians, and with the Syrians?
    Prime Minister Netanyahu. Mr. President.
    The President. Well, that's what we're going to talk about.

Note: The President spoke at 4:50 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Dore Gold, Policy Adviser to Prime 
Minister Netanyahu; Israeli Ambassador to the United States Eliahu Ben-
Elissar; and Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Authority. A tape 
was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.