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