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Reinvigorating the Mideast Peace Process -
V. American Leadership In the World
"From the outset, America s commitment to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East has been backed by a strong pledge that whenever Arabs and Israelis turn the page on the past, the United States would work with them to write a real, practical future of hope. Those who take risks for peace must not stand alone."
-- President Clinton October 26, 1994
The past two years have witnessed unprecedented progress toward a lasting, secure, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The Clinton Administration has made the achievement of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Middle East a major foreign policy priority.
In September 1993 the leaders of Israel and the PLO signed the Declaration of Principles (DOP) on the White House lawn, ushering in a new era in their relationship. Since then they have moved forward with the implementation of the DOP, despite the tough political issues involved and the murderous acts of terrorists seeking to derail the process.
In October 1994 President Clinton presided over the signing of a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, and since then those two nations have been involved in intensive negotiations on a broad range of issues relating to further cooperation and regional development. The supportive role of the peace camp in the Middle East was demonstrated dramatically in February 1995 during a series of meetings, attended by President Clinton, involving leaders and cabinet members from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and the United States.
The Israelis and the Syrians -- with the facilitation of President Clinton and Secretary Christopher -- have been negotiating on various issues relating to peace between them.
Several other Arab countries, especially Morocco, Tunisia, Oman and Qatar, have recently begun to normalize their relations with Israel.
In September 1994, the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council decided to end the secondary and tertiary boycotts against the Jewish state.
The United States will continue to do all that it can to help bring about a lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East which ensures the security of Israel and its neighbors. The Clinton Administration will:
help those parties still in conflict to negotiate durable peace agreements with each other;
stand firmly by those who have already undertaken such agreements with strong moral and material support;
demonstrate to the enemies of peace that violence and terror will not succeed in disrupting the process; and
continue to push hard to encourage rapid normalization of relations between Israel and all of the Arab states, and end the boycott of Israel.
In addition, over the last two years the United States has also sought to foster conditions favorable to long-term regional economic growth.
In March 1993 President Clinton and Prime Minister Rabin announced the formation of the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Commission, which promotes cooperate science and technology activities.
In October 1993 the U.S.-Jordan-Israel Trilateral Economic Committee was formed to advance development initiatives, with contributions from the Commerce Department, the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, USIA, and USAID.
In the fall of 1994 the Administration announced the U.S.-Egypt Joint Committee for Economic Growth, a major initiative promoting economic reform and development.
In February 1995 Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown was named U.S. Middle East Commercial Coordinator, in conjunction with his attendance at an unprecedented summit of Israeli, Egyptian, Jordanian, and Palestinian trade and financial leaders.
The Administration is coordinating the arrangements necessary to set up a Middle East Development Bank, which would promote regional economic development and cooperation.
Finally, the Administration has sought to maintain a continued flow of U.S. aid to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and others who have demonstrated their devotion to peace, and it has continued and deepened the U.S. commitment to strengthening Israel s qualitative military edge.