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>PD OCTOBER 27, 1994 V2, #197

U.S. Will Help Jordan Economically

By David Borgida (Amman)

President Clinton is pledging US economic and security help to Jordan just hours after it formally signed its peace agreement with Israel at an emotional ceremony along the Israeli-Jordanian border. The president addressed the Jordanian parliament in Amman.

With the formal signing of the peace agreement, Clinton is now looking ahead- - looking ahead to what he can do to sustain and nurture the peace. Reaffirming support for a Middle East Economic Development Bank, reiterating the US decision to forgive Jordan's debt to the United States, and pressing ahead with new regional aid, the president made it clear--poverty encourages the kind of extremism that can undermine this new peace.

"If poverty persists in breeding despair and killing hope then the purveyors of fear will find fertile ground. Our goal must be to spread prosperity and security to all. (Applause)"

Today it's on to Damascus for Clinton who becomes the first US president in 20 years to visit the Syrian capital. A senior administration official, continuing the effort to lower expectations, describes Clinton's talks with Syrian President Hafez al Assad as an investment--the dividend, he hopes, could come later.

Israel and Jordan Sign Peace Treaty at Festive Ceremony

By David Borgida and Al Pessin (Israeli-Jordanian border)

Israel and Jordan have formally signed their peace treaty during an elaborate and emotional ceremony along their mutual border. President Clinton -- on the second of his four day Middle East trip -- congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein for their courage.

World leaders and the international media transformed this desert spot dividing Israel and Jordan into an unlikely world stage. As Rabin put it, "The time has come not only to dream a better future, but to realize it."

Clinton -- proud of his role in brokering this peace -- witnessed it all, praising the parties, urging dedication to peace. "I say to the people of Israel and Jordan now you must make this peace real -- to turn no-mans land into everyman's home, to take down the barbed wire, to remove the deadly mines, to help the wounds of war to heal. Open your borders, open your hearts. Peace is more than an agreement on paper, it is feeling, it is activity, it is devotion."

And he vowed not to let Islamic fundamentalist terror undermine the peace process. "The forces of terror will try to hold you back. Already they take deadly aim at the future of peace. In their zeal to kill hope and keep hatred alive, they would deny all that peace can bring to your children. We cannot, we must not, we will not let them succeed. (Applause)"

Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev also attended the hot outdoor ceremony, bringing with him the best wishes of Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

The dramatic highlight may well have been the exchange of gifts between Israeli and Jordanian soldiers, who saluted smartly in front of the red-carpeted stage.

On a blistering, blustery desert afternoon, the leaders of Israel, Jordan and the United States sat before an audience of 5,000 and put their signatures on a series of documents and maps, starting an era of peace between two countries which had been at war for 46 years.

King Hussein had been expected to sign the documents, but he did not. But in his speech, the king said he was feeling an enormous sense of pride and fulfillment. He said now Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians -- whom he described as all children of Abraham -- will live together in peace.

"We come together to ensure, God willing, that there will be no more death, no more misery, no more suspicion, no more fear, no more uncertainty of what each day might bring, as has been the case in the past. (Applause)"

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said that although leaders held the negotiations and signed the treaty, he believes there was a true desire for peace among the Jordanian and Israeli peoples. "We caused each other to clear the mine fields that divided us for so many years, and to supplant it with fields of plenty. For nearly two generations, desolation pervaded the heart of our two peoples. The time has now come, not merely to dream of a better future but to realize it."

The site of the event, in the Arava, was a blaze of flags and banners with messages of peace in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Military bands from both countries played the national anthems of Israel, Jordan and the United States. Israeli military officers could be seen mingling with their Jordanian counterparts.

The treaty signing was accompanied by readings from the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and from the Jewish holy book, the Torah. And Clinton chose a desert image at this desert site to characterize what he called the signing of a "peace of the generations."

"This vast, bleached desert hides great signs of life. Today, we see the proof of that, for peace between Jordan and Israel is no longer a mirage. It is real, it will take root in this soil, in will grow to great heights and shelter generations to come.

The speeches and the signing of numerous documents and large maps drew most of the attention on Wednesday, but one other brief moment in the ceremony deserves some mention. Two young girls -- one Jordanian and one Israeli -- went onto the stage and gave flowers to the assembled leaders. Both girls lost grandfathers in the 1967 war between Israel and Jordan, and officials said they provided a living example of the young generations for whom the leaders say they made this peace agreement.

The Jordanian mountains provided the backdrop for a traditional black Bedouin tent where the leaders gathered. As the ceremony started, they followed a red carpet to the stage where a wooden desk, three chairs and two bound volumes of treaty documents awaited them.

Just outside the perimeter, crowds pushed through the security checkpoint. And all around there was a certain degree of mayhem as spectators found seats and photographers jockeyed for position. The chief Israeli Government spokesman describes it as a great day. But he says there is much work to do to make peace with Jordan truly a reality that affects the daily lives of people on both sides of the border and to make peace with the rest of Israel's neighbors.

The treaty ending 46-years of conflict involves a creative arrangement in which Israel returns some land to Jordanian sovereignty and Jordan rents the land back to Israel. Officials had hoped that approach would serve as a model for an Israeli deal with Syria on the Golan heights. But Syria has rejected the idea.

Rabin: "Let This Be an End to War"

"Happy holiday; Happy holiday to the people of Israel; Happy

holiday to the people of Jordan. Let this be an end to war, violence and hostile activity. And let us know no more war," Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told the nearly 5,000 dignitaries and officials who gathered for the peace ceremony.

"Both nations were determined that the great revolution in the Middle East would take place in their generation." the prime minister continued. Rabin concluded his speech by saying, "Allow me to end with simple words - Shalom, Salaam, Peace."

"We will always cherish the memory and honor of all those who have fallen over the years from amongst all of our peoples. I believe they are with us on this occasion...we come together to ensure that there will be no more death, no more misery, no more suspicion, no more fear, no more uncertainty of what each day might bring," King Hussein told the audience.

Hussein continued, saying "This great valley in which we stand will become the valley of peace." "This is peace with dignity, this is peace with commitment."

US President Bill Clinton, attending the ceremony as part of a four-day visit to the Middle East, said "The forces of terrorism will try to hold you back, we cannot, we must not, we will not let them succeed." Clinton, quoting from the Bible, said "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth."

After the ceremony, Israeli, Jordanian and the American officials traveled to King's Hussein palace in Aqaba.

Clinton Meets Arafat in Cairo

By Ron Pemstein (Aqaba)

Before witnessing the signing of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, President Clinton met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Yasir Arafat in Cairo. Clinton expressed satisfaction with Arafat's efforts to stop terrorism.

Clinton says Arafat understands clearly that the radical group Hamas is his enemy now and that once you become a partner in the peace process, you have to fight for peace.

At a news conference in Cairo before flying here to Jordan, Clinton says Arafat understands this and his answer was clear and unambiguous. The president says he believes Arafat will try to implement his pledge to combat terrorism.

US officials say Arafat must choose between being a friend of the United States and being a friend to Hamas which has been blamed by Israel and the US for the killing of a kidnapped Israeli soldier and a deadly bombing in Tel Aviv.

Washington Jews Hold Candlelight Service

By Imani Crosby (Washington D.C.)

Washington's Jewish community acknowledged the peace accord between Israel and Jordan by holding a candlelight memorial service Tuesday night at the Israeli Embassy. Participants honored Jewish victims of terrorist attacks and encouraged continuation of the peace process in the Middle East:

They sang the prayer known as "Oseh Shalom," which the Jewish population says reflects the deepest hopes and aspirations for their people.

Speaker after speaker used the occasion to plead for an end to the killing of innocent victims in terrorist attacks. Deputy Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Gur said not even the Israel-Jordan peace treaty will bring back the most recent victims -- two bystanders in Jerusalem; a kidnaped Israeli soldier; and bus riders in Tel Aviv.

He called on Israeli, Jewish and international leaders to intensify efforts to stop terrorists and to prevent both Jews and Arabs from becoming their next victims. Gur also says the agreement makes the Jewish community responsible for maintaining peace with its Arab neighbors. He says that would eliminate a climate which cultivates terrorism throughout the Middle East.

US and Mideast officials overseas are not the only ones celebrating the new Israel-Jordan treaty. Two private citizens - one Jewish and the other Arabic - summed-up their reaction to the new accord in a US television interview Wednesday:

Jewish and Arab citizens in the US are expressing a collective sigh of relief at the formal end of the state of war between Israel and Jordan. Ora Peskovitz is a US physician and Mohammad Mobahdin is a Jordanian businessman:

"I think it's a day of phenomenal celebration and joy for all of us," Peskovitz said. "I'm very excited for all of my on personal family but for all of the peoples of both countries, and really for the whole world."

"I think it's the most wonderful thing. As a matter of fact, I'm still in a state of shock," said Mobahdin. "I never thought I would live to see this wonderful day. And, I'm so glad it has taken place while I'm still alive."

Both Mobahdin and Peskovitz say they are as elated as their respective family in Jordan and Israel. In addition to improved economic ties and cultural exchanges, the two say they expect their families to lead normal lives for the first time in 46 years.

Syrian People Say They're Ready for Peace

By Laurie Kassman (Damascus)

Syrians were not able to watch the signing ceremony live on Syrian TV, but many families with satellite dishes followed the ceremony from the privacy of their homes. In the streets of Damascus, Syrians say they are ready for peace, too.

The focus of news reports and editorials here has been on the visit of President Bill Clinton today, the first by a US leader in 20 years.

Officially, Syria has criticized Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization for rushing into peace accords with Israel rather than waiting for a more detailed, comprehensive Arab-Israeli settlement. Syria will not be rushed.

Syrian President Hafez al-Assad has also criticized Jordan's decision to lease back to Israel land that has been returned to Jordan under the peace agreement.

Assad insists that peace with Israel depends on the return of all of the Golan Heights, which Israel seized in the 1967 war. For Syria, it is a question of land for peace, not just peace for peace. Israel first wants Syria's commitment to normalized relations and has talked of a pullout on -- but not from -- the strategic border area.

Peace talks have been deadlocked since last February, but officials here view Clinton's visit as an important event that could narrow the gap between Syria and Israel.

There are even reports that Clinton is ready to offer some personal shuttle diplomacy to shepherd Syria and Israel toward a peace treaty.

Clinton is also seeking Assad's cooperation in curbing terrorist activities that aim to undermine the peace process. Syria remains on the State Department list as a terrorist sponsoring nation and has been accused of supporting the Iranian-backed Hizbullah in southern Lebanon.

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Text of President Clinton's Speech at Israeli-Jordanian Peace

Treaty Signing

King Hussein, President Weizman, Prime Minister Rabin, Prime

Minister Majali, Crown Prince Hassan, Foreign Minister Peres, Foreign Minister Kozyrev, Mr. Secretary of State, the people of Jordan and Israel, with a special thank to those who are cheering section up there - - (applause) - - we thank you all. (Applause)

At the dawn of this piece of a generation in this ancient place we celebrate the history and the faith of Jordanians and Israelis. But we break the chains of the past that for too long have kept you shackled in the shadows of strife and suffering. We thank those who have worked for peace before. We celebrate the efforts of brave leaders who saw the bright horizon of this dawn, even while the darkness lingered. This vast bleached desert hides great signs of life.

Today we see the proof of it for peace between Jordan and Israel
is  no  longer a mirage.  It is real.  It will take root in this
soil.  It will grow to great heights and shelter generations to
come. Today, we honor the constant and devoted work of two courageous leaders who have risked everything so that their children and their children's children need fight nor fear no more. King Hussein, today in this arid place, you bring to full flower the memories of the man who taught you to seek peace, your grandfather, King Abdullah. When he was martyred four decades ago, he left you with a great burden and a great dream. He believed that one day on both sides of the River Jordan, Arab and Jew would live in peace. How bravely you have shouldered that burden and carried that dream. Now after so much danger and so much hardship, Your Majesty, your day has come. Truly you have fulfilled your grandfather's legacy. (Applause) Prime Minister Rabin, you have spent a lifetime as a soldier, fighting first to establish your country and then, for so long, to defend it. For a lifetime you have fought with skill and tenacity and courage simply to achieve a secure and lasting peace for your people. Now, you have given them the hope of life after the siege. In your own words, you have now given them the challenge to furnish the House of Israel and make it a home. As a general, you have won many battles through strength and courage, but now, through strength and courage, you command the army of peace and you have won the greatest victory of all. We salute you. (Applause) As has been said before, this treaty is the product of many hands. Crown Prince Hassan and Foreign Minister Peres know better than any of us that spring -- that peace does not spring full-grown. It requires cultivation. It requires patience and care. We salute their devotion and persistence and the wise and determined counsel of Secretary Christopher. We are in all their debt and we thank them. (Applause) I say to the people of Israel and Jordan, now you must make this peace real. To turn no-man's land into everyman's home; to take down the barbed wire; to remove the deadly mines; to help the wounds of war to heal; open your borders, open your hearts. Peace is more than an agreement on paper; it is feeling, it is activity, it is devotion. The forces of terror will try to hold you back. Already they take deadly aim at the future of peace in their zeal to kill hope
and keep hatred alive.  They will deny all that peace can bring
to your children.  We  cannot,  we must  not,  we will  not  let
them succeed.  (Applause)

The United States stands with you. Since President Truman first recognized Israel, we have wished for, worked for comprehensive peace between Israel and all her neighbors.

On behalf of all Americans, including millions of Jewish and Arab-Americans for whom this day means so much, I thank you for trusting America to help you arrive at this moment. The American people are very proud of the opportunity that we have had. (Applause)

And now let the work of progress bear fruit. Here at the first of many crossing points to be opened, people from every corner of the Earth will soon come to share in the wonders of your lands. There are resources to be found in the desert, minerals to be drawn from the sea, water to be separated from salt and used to fertilize the fields. Here, where slaves in ancient times were forced to take their chisels to the stone, the earth, as the Koran says, will stir and swell and bring forth life. The desert, as Isaiah prophesied, shall rejoice and blossom.

Here, your people will drink water form the same well and savor together the fruit of the vine. As you seize this moment, be assured that you will redeem every life sacrificed along the long road that brought us to this day. You will take the hatred out of hearts and you will pass along to your children a peace for the generations.

Your Majesty, Mr. Prime Minister, here in the great Rift Valley, you have bridged the tragic rift that separated your people for too long. Here in this region, which is the home of not only both your fates, but mine, I say: blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth. (Applause)

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