T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E

Remarks Of The President Upon Departure For The Wye Conference Center

Help Site Map Text Only

The Briefing Room

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 19, 1998


The South Grounds

1:28 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I want to begin by saying how much Ideplore the grenade attack earlier today on a bus station inBeersheba, Israel. No cause, no grievance justifies terror. This isanother attempt to murder, plain and simple.

Now, I am convinced that reaching a secure, just, andlasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the best way toensure that terrorism has no future in the Middle East. I'm nowreturning to the Middle East peace talks to encourage the Israelisand the Palestinians to make the hard decisions necessary to movethis peace process forward.

As I said when we launched the talks last week, theUnited States will do everything we can to help, but ultimately, onlythe parties themselves can bridge their differences and put theirpeople on a more hopeful course. The issues are difficult. Thedistrust is deep. The going has been tough. But the parties mustconsider the consequences of failure, and also the benefits ofprogress.

Finally, let me say just a few words about the flashflooding that has wreaked havoc in southeast Texas. Reportedly, 18people have lost their lives; 5,000 evacuated from their homes; 1,200in refuge in emergency shelters. The storms themselves have not yetabated. We offer our thoughts, our prayers, our resolve to help tothose who have lost family members, those who have been uprooted.

A short while ago, I spoke to our FEMA Director, JamesLee Witt. He is already working with the Texas officials to assessthe damage, and the budget I am about to sign contains nearly $1billion in additional resources to FEMA so that this vital agencywill be even stronger as it works to address this and futuredisasters. For now, the nation stands ready to assist the people ofTexas in their time of need.

Q Mr. President, will the Wye talks cancel your tripto California tomorrow in order to be available to continue theMiddle East negotiations?

Q Can they still succeed at Wye?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm going back today to work on this.As you know, I got home at 3:00 a.m. last night. We're working hardthrough it. This incident in Israel is certainly a complicatingfactor. I have been briefed on the progress of events this morning,and we're going to work as hard as we can today and we'll have moreto say about it as events unfold.

Thank you.

Q How long will you ask the parties to remain, sir?Is today the deadline?

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only

Privacy Statement

What's New - October 1998

School Safety

Third Quarter GDP Numbers

Unemployment Numbers

Saving Social Security for the 21st Century

1998 Budget Surplus

The Budget Agreement

The Wye Conference Center

Breast Cancer Awareness Event

Funding for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment

Wye Plantation Departure Remarks

Today's Space Shuttle Launch

Middle East Peace Signing

Discussion on Social Security

Colombian President Pastrana

Remarks After Meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat

Legislative Priorities

1998 IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting

Higher Education Act

Medicare Beneficiaries

Education Agenda

America's Top Cops

Education Agenda

The John F. Kennedy Space Center

Conference on School Safety

Women and Retirement Security

Standards For Impeachment