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"Peace must mean many things -- legitimate rights for Palestinians, real security for Israel. But it must begin with something even more basic -- mutual recognition, seeing people who are different, with whom there have been profound differences, as people."

President Clinton
Remarks to the Members of the Palestinian National Council
And Other Palestinian Organizations
December 14, 1998

Since coming into office, President Clinton has dedicated his time and energy to promoting a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East that will ensure the security of Israel and the well being of its neighbors. The United States has helped broker agreements between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and Jordan and led the efforts toward a resumption of the Israeli-Syrian talks. President Clinton has made clear that the United States stands firmly by those who have taken risks for peace, providing them with strong political, economic and material support; and demonstrated to the enemies of peace that violence and terror will not succeed in disrupting the peace process. At the same time, the United States has maintained its long-standing commitment to the security of Israel, strengthened its ties with Egypt and Jordan and built a new relationship with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.


Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

  • Helped forge the agreements that led to the Israel-Palestinian Declaration of Principles in September 1993 and the Interim Agreement on Palestinian self-rule in September 1995.
  • Brokered the Wye Agreement in October 1998, revitalizing the peace process after years of stagnation. As a result of the agreements, the Palestinians strengthened their steps against terror and their security cooperation with Israel and agreed to undertake a program of weapons collection. The Palestinians also agreed to formally rescind those parts of the PLO Charter that are inconsistent with their commitment to peace. The Israeli government agreed, inter alia, to withdraw from areas of the West Bank, release Palestinian detainees, allow the opening of the Gaza Industrial Estate, the Gaza seaport and safe-passage routes between Gaza and the West Bank.
  • Secured congressional approval of the "Wye package" in 1999, providing $1.2 billion to strengthen Israel's security and $400 million to assist Palestinian economic development, a key to demonstrating the benefits of peace to the Palestinian people.
  • Helped broker the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum, signed on September 4, 1999, which built on the Wye agreement and established an ambitious timetable for permanent status negotiations with the goal of reaching a permanent status settlement by September 13, 2000.
  • Hosted the Camp David Summit in July 2000, the highest-level negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians on all permanent status issues. This was the first time the most sensitive issues were discussed by leaders of the two sides.
  • Provided strong diplomatic and material support to Israel and led the international donor assistance effort to aid the Palestinian people. Through September 1998, cumulative disbursements of donor aid to the Palestinians reached $2.6 billion. The United States has committed $75 million a year since 1994. Donor states continue to raise funds and direct projects for and within the Palestinian economy.

Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty

  • Helped broker the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in October 1994. Since the signing, Israel and Jordan have had full diplomatic exchange, and have begun working together on development, the environment and security issues.
Israel-Syria Peace Talks
  • Ended three years of stalemate between Syria and Israel by achieving a resumption of Israeli-Syrian peace talks. President Clinton hosted the highest level meeting ever between Israel and Syria in December 1999 after months of behind-the-scenes diplomacy.
Israel-Lebanon Border

  • Negotiated the April 26, 1996 written agreement to protect civilians in Lebanon and Israel.
  • Organized the creation of regional institutions designed to preserve the achievements of the peace process through long-term economic growth and prosperity. In February 2000, the United States helped spearhead the resumption of the multilateral track of the peace process with the first meeting of the multilateral steering group since 1995.
  • Worked with the United Nations to ensure implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 425 and a peaceful Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
  • Took decisive unilateral action and led multilateral efforts to aid Israel against terrorists determined to undermine the peace process, including offering counter-terrorism assistance to Israel in 1997.
  • Led the "Summit of the Peace Makers" at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in March 1996.
  • Signed Executive Orders 12947 and 13099, declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat of terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process.


President Clinton has made over one hundred and seventy-five telephone calls to heads-of-state in direct support of the Middle East peace process. In his six visits to the region, the President helped advance the peace process. President Clinton also hosted a number of meetings and summits in the United States to move the process forward: the Israel-Syria talks at Shepherdstown in 1999, the Wye River meetings in 1998, the 1995 Washington Summit, the 1994 signing of the Washington Declaration by Israel and Jordan which ended the war between the two states and the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993, forever remembered for the historic hand-shake between Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat.

July 2000 President Clinton hosts highest level negotiations ever between Israel and Palestinians on permanent status issues.
December 1999 President Clinton hosts the highest-level talks ever between Israel and Syria.
December 1998 First President to visit Gaza and to address a meeting of the Palestinian National Council which led to the formal cancellation of those clauses of the PLO Charter that call for the destruction of Israel.
October 1998 After spending more than a week at Wye mediating between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat, President Clinton achieves the Wye River Memorandum between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The agreement led to unprecedented Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, agreement by the Palestinians to annul provisions of the PLO Charter that called for the destruction of Israel, Israeli agreement to further land withdrawals, the release of Palestinian detainees and steps to help promote the Palestinian economy.
August 22, 1998 Furthering the ability of the United States to combat terrorist groups, President Clinton signs Executive Order 13099.
March 13, 1996 President Clinton leads the Summit of the Peacemakers in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
September 28, 1995 President Clinton hosts a White House ceremony at which Israel and the Palestinians sign the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip as provided for in the Declaration of Principles.
September 28, 1995 President Clinton hosts the Washington summit attended by King Hussein, President Mubarak, Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat to accelerate the process.
February 12, 1995 President Clinton hosts the Blair House Ministerial with Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
January 24, 1995 President Clinton signs Executive Order 12947, declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat of terrorists that disrupt the Middle East Peace Process.
October 26, 1994 Treaty of Peace signed by Israel and Jordan at Arava. The treaty includes full diplomatic relations between the states, as well as broad cooperation in other areas. President Clinton's participation in the signing ceremony underscores the U.S. commitment to peace in the region.
October 1994 President Clinton travels to the Middle East, including a stop in Damascus.
July 25, 1994 President Clinton hosts the signing of the Washington Declaration between Israel and Jordan which put an end to the state of war between the two states.
January 16, 1994 President Clinton meets with President Asad in Geneva. President Asad states his commitment to "put an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict."
October 1, 1993 President Clinton inaugurates the trilateral U.S.-Jordan-Israel Economic Committee.
September 13, 1993

President Clinton hosts the signing of the Declaration of Principles by Israel and the PLO.


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