Background Briefing by Senior Administration Official

Office of the Press Secretary
(Oslo, Norway)

For Immediate Release November 2, 1999


The Ambassador's Residence
Oslo, Norway

6:50 P.M. (L)

THE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, we have just completed a very good meeting. I feel that we have revitalized the peace process and we've got these final status -- the framework talks off to a very good start.

The two sides have not only named their teams, they have agreed that the leaders will personally continue to meet on a regular basis. They have agreed to work very hard to avoid public comments or actions which will cause enormous difficulty for the other side in the next hundred days or so when they're trying to come to agreement on the framework. And they have agreed with me that we might well have a summit at the end of this process if enough progress has been made to make us all believe that, in good faith, we can actually get an agreement at a summit.

Q Is that the framework process, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: The framework process, yes.

Q When will you have that summit?

Q -- their intentions, though?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, when and whether depends upon what we're doing. We have a very ambitious timetable here. I think the timetable is the middle of February that they've agreed to have the framework agreement. So you won't have to wait long for answers to the details. We'll all be in high gear between now and then.

Thank you very much.

Q Mr. President, is this more than you expected to come out of Oslo? Are you surprised?

THE PRESIDENT: I feel quite good about it. I feel very good about it. I'm very pleased by it.

END 6:53 P.M. (L)


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