THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
|For Immediate Release
||June 18, 1999
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AND CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER
IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Isabellensaal Room, Gurzenich
2:51 P.M. (L)
Q Mr. President, in another House action, the House has passed
a measure which would permit the Ten Commandments to be posted in public
schools. Do you think that's constitutional?
THE PRESIDENT: I think it raises constitutional questions. I
think what they're trying to do is to say that the schools ought to teach
basic elements of character education, and I agree with that. And Secretary
Riley and I have worked on that for several years, now. So I would -- what I
would like to do is to -- rather than get into a big constitutional fight, is
to have the Secretary meet with the members of Congress, show them what we're
trying to do in this area that is plainly constitutional, and maybe get them
to support that, so we can intensify our efforts.
And the idea that the schools ought to build the character of
children I think is a very good idea. But it ought to be done in a way that
respects the wide diversity of our student body, and that doesn't lead to a
long, drawn-out legal challenge.
I understand the impulse behind it and I think the impulse is
good. We just have to be -- we don't want to raise constitutional questions.
There is another option here that I
think achieves their objective. I'm going to -- when I get home
I'm going to talk to them about it.
Q -- you think there will be a solution with the
Russians concerning the problems in Kosovo?
THE PRESIDENT: I do. The Chancellor and I, we're
going to talk about it.
I'd like to begin by thanking the Bundeskanzler for
hosting this and for doing such an outstanding job, not only
leading the G-8, but also leading the EU in this period, and for
being a wonderful leader in our Alliance in the campaign in
We have been working very hard in the last days, as you
know, to get our troops in as the Serbs leave. Today, we have
19,000 in, 35,000 of theirs have gone. And this is a good day.
And I do believe, based on what I have just heard, that we have a
good chance of reaching a resolution today on the role of the
Russians in our KFOR. So we have to discuss this, but I think if
we can get everybody together on this in the next couple of
hours, we'll have an agreement. I'm hoping.
Q Chancellor Schroeder, the indebted nations want
debt forgiveness now, about $100 billion. Is that doable?
CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER: I think that sum will certainly
not be achieved, whatever it will get to. But we certainly get
together here during the summit to talk about the fact that we
would like to assist the poorest countries with their development
and their debt problems.
We, of course, have to -- we're at the beginning of the
summit -- have to go in and discuss the more finite detail, and
then we'll come up with a result which we'll share with you at
the end of the summit, and not now, at the beginning.
END 2:56 P.M. (L)