Statement by the President on the Middle East situation (10/14/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release              October 14, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
                       ON THE MIDDLE EAST SITUATION

                       The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

8:38 A.M. EDT

          THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  As you know, we have been working
for more than a week now to try to persuade the parties in the Middle East
to find a way out of the recent cycle of violence, find a way back to
negotiations. I'm very pleased that Prime Minister Barak and Chairman
Arafat have accepted President Mubarak's invitation to attend a summit at
Sharm el-Sheikh. The summit will convene this Monday, and in the meantime
we expect that both parties will do all in their power to cease hostilities
and halt the violence.

        Our central objectives must now be to stop the violence, to restore
calm and safety, to agree on a fact-finding mechanism concerning how this
began and how it can be prevented from occurring again and to find a way
back to dialogue and negotiations.

        Now, we should be under no illusions. The good news is the parties
have agreed to meet and the situation appears to be calmer, but the path
ahead is difficult. After the terrible events of the past few days, the
situation is still quite tense. But President Mubarak and I are convinced
that we must make every effort to break the cycle of violence.

        Now, as all of you know, I have to go to Denver. I'm running a
little late. But the truth is, we're in that period of time where I believe
leading up to the summit the less those of us say who are going to be
there, the better. And so, at least for the moment, I want to let my
statement stand for itself. But I assure you I will continue to do
everything I can to minimize the violence and to do all the preparation
necessary to maximize the chances of a successful meeting.

        Thank you.

                         END               8:41 AM EDT

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