Remarks of the President and Prime Minister Kok of the Netherlands (9/28/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release              September 28, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                           IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

                                      The Rose Garden

1:20 P.M. EDT

          Q    Mr. President, why did you invite the Prime Minister?  Is
there something the United States can learn from Holland?  (Laughter.)

          THE PRESIDENT:  I think there are a lot of things we can learn
from Holland.  Let me say, first of all, it's a great honor for me to have
Prime Minister Wim Kok here.  He's been an outstanding leader of Europe, as
well as the Netherlands, and we've had a very good relationship for eight
years now.  And I have admired him for many years.

          I always tell everyone that it was he, not I, that was the first
real Third Way leader in the world.  And if you look at the success of the
Netherlands in keeping down unemployment, and trying to balance work and
family, and dealing with the challenges that countries all over the world
will face in the 21st century, it's hard to find a nation that's done more
different things well.  And so it's a great source of honor and pride for
me to have him here today, and just to have a chance to thank him for the
years that we've worked together.

          I'd also like to say how grateful I am for the strong support
that he and his nation have given to our allied efforts through NATO, to
end ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.  And we've just been talking about the
elections in Serbia, and I'd like to have him say what he feels.  But from
my point of view, they had an election; it's clear that the people prefer
the opposition, and I think we should all say in unequivocal terms, as soon
as there's a democratic government over there, the sanctions should be

          Mr. Prime Minister.

          PRIME MINISTER KOK:  Well, first of all, I would like to say
thank you to President Clinton for inviting me here.  He was too kind, as
far as the Netherlands and the Dutch Prime Minister are concerned.  But I
considered the President, and still consider the President as a great
leader of the United States, who, in spite of the enormous difference in
size between the United States and the Netherlands, has always been
attentive and interested in development in Europe and in our country.  And
this indicates that even between the very big and smaller countries, there
can be really an excellent relations.

          Now, on the Balkans, it was not easy for all of us, of course, to
participate in the air strikes that were necessary in order to bring --
make an end to the genocide that was happening there.  And what happened
now, a few days ago in the elections, is an extremely clear signal from the
electorate that they want to get rid of Milosevic.  And this is, I think,
the right moment for us to indicate that from the moment on when the
opposition would take over that leadership, sanctions have to be lifted,
because the sanctions were never directed against the people.  They were
not directed against the population, they were directed against their wrong

          So this is a very important moment.  We still have to see what
will happen in the next few hours and days in Serbia.  But that double
message should be very clear.  The people said, we want to get rid of
Milosevic.  And we say, as soon as there will be a new leadership, the
sanctions will be over.

          Q    Mr. President, what do you make of the fact that Holland is
still the biggest importer of ecstacy pills into this country?

          THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we're going to talk about that.  I think
we've had good cooperation and we need to tighten our cooperation.  There
are things we can do about it.  But part of it is a function of the fact
that Holland is one of the great trading countries of the world, massive
ports, and opportunity.  And we just have to work harder to shut off the
opportunity.  I think we'll work together and do that.

          Q    What should be done --

          Q    Mr. President, should Milosevic step down rather than
participate in a second -- rather than go forward with the second round of
elections?  Should he step down now?

          THE PRESIDENT:  If you looked at the -- there are conflicting
election reports.  The opportunity had people in each of the polling
places, and they produced some pretty persuasive documentation that they
won, Mr. Kostunica won.  And the national election council had no
opposition representation, met in secret and has not documented its
results.  But as the Prime Minister said to me before we came out, even
they certify 49-38; that's a pretty huge margin of victory in a national

          But I thought the case the opposition made based on their actual
numbers, poll place by poll place, were pretty persuasive, especially since
it hasn't been refuted by the national commission.

          Q    Did you talk about sending Dutch troops to Eritrea?

          THE PRESIDENT:  We haven't talked about anything else yet.  We
mostly just talked about Serbia.  We're going to lunch and talk about the

          Q    Mr. President, judges dismissed half of the government's
lawsuit against the tobacco industry.  Is that a disappointing blow to the

          THE PRESIDENT:  I'm going to have a Cabinet meeting later, and
I'll answer all the domestic questions then.  Thank you.

                          END        1:25 P.M. EDT

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