REMARKS OF THE PRESIDENT
AND HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH OF
THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN
IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
The Oval Office
1:06 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to have an opening statement. His
will have an opening statement. I'll be glad to take a couple of questions from
the American press. His Majesty will take a couple of questions from the
Jordanian press, and we'll alternate.
It's my honor to welcome The
Majesty to the Oval Office, to our
country. We had a very good
lunch. We discussed a lot of
subjects, starting with how best to
work together to lay the foundation
for peace in the Middle East. We
had a very good discussion about
trade, and I explained to His
Majesty that ours is a country that
believes in free trade.
We look forward to working to get an agreement, one way or the other, out
of our Congress, that encourages free trade with Jordan. We will be discussing
strategies as how best to achieve that objective; but the objective is for there to
be a free trade agreement between our countries.
His Majesty is one of the young leaders of the Middle East who has got
good vision for peace. And I look forward to his advice and counsel, and
working closely together to achieve peace. So welcome, Your Majesty.
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH: Thank you very much, sir. Mr.
President, as you said, we had a very warm and constructive discussions today
about not only bilateral relations, but that of the region. And I believe that we're
both committed to finding peace and stability in our part of the world. We're
very grateful for all the support that we've had from your country over the
years. And I look forward to working with you, sir, and with your
administration to try and bring peace and stability to the Middle East.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, sir.
Q Your Majesty, with apologies, because there's another
everybody's mind. Mr. President --
THE PRESIDENT: What might that be?
Q Well, it's the China problem. What is it going
to take to resolve
that? Have you considered dealing directly with the President of China?
THE PRESIDENT: We are working hard to resolve the situation.
piece of news I have to report is, I talked to the General, Sealock, again. He
met with our folks in Hainan Island. He reported that spirits are high, that the
troops are patient.
He informed us that there is an exchange of e-mails between the -- our
troops and their families, which is, I found to be an important piece of news,
that the families will be able to talk to each other.
Diplomacy sometimes takes a little longer than people would like.
I urge the
Chinese to bring resolution to this issue. It's time for our people to come home.
Q Mr. President, what about the issue with Jesse Jackson?
President, what about the issue with Reverend Jesse Jackson? He says if China
lets him in, he will go there to help free the 24 detainees.
THE PRESIDENT: We are -- there's a lot of people that are anxious
this situation to end. I appreciate the goodwill of a lot of Americans that are
concerned about our folks in Hainan Island. This administration is doing
everything we can to end the stalemate in an efficient way. We're making the
right decisions to bring the solution to an end.
Q Do you support Reverend Jackson? Do you support --
Q Mr. President, you said a moment ago --
THE PRESIDENT: This is a Jordanian reporter.
Q Mr. President, you said a moment ago that diplomacy
takes longer than
sometimes people would like. Are you trying to prepare the American people
for an extended and prolonged stay of this 24-member crew, in Chinese
THE PRESIDENT: No. I am making it clear to the Chinese that
it's in their
nation's interests to end this situation as quickly as possible. As all members of
my administration have been saying, that the longer this goes, the more likely it
is that it could -- could -- jeopardize relations, and we certainly don't want that
Q Mr. President --
THE PRESIDENT: Is there anybody from the Jordanian --
Q The West Bank --
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, ma'am?
Q A Jewish spiritual leader yesterday called upon killing
all Arabs, and we
are seeing Israel launching an unannounced, full-scale war against
Palestinians. Is your country going to use or veto another proposal at the
United Nations to send an international protection force?
THE PRESIDENT: Our country is very interested and working with all
parties to -- for parties to lay down their arms. The only -- wait, let me --
Q Your Majesty, can you state specifically what you think --
THE PRESIDENT: I'm not quite through yet --
THE PRESIDENT: And then you're next.
Q Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: In order for there to be discussions that will lead
peace, first and foremost, the violence must stop. And we're working hard to
convince the parties to stop the violence. His Majesty and I talked about how
best that all countries, peaceful countries in the region can discourage violent
activities. And the Secretary of State and -- has been on the phone recently
with the leaders in the Middle East to make sure that they understand the U.S.
position is for the violence to stop.
Q Your Majesty, can you say specifically, beyond rhetorical
Jordan and the United States can do to stop the violence, bring it down, restore
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH: Well, I think the situation at present
is try to find a way of de-escalating the violence. There has been meetings
between the Israelis and the Palestinians as early as last week, which produced
some results. And I think we need to be able to build on that.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Look what you started.
1:11 P.M. EDT