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                                                                 April 10, 2001
 

                                 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 Majesty
                 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 a
                 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 subject on
                 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.  The first
                 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?  Mr.
                 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 for
                 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
                 captivity?

                      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
                 to happen.

                      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 --

                      Q    Sorry.

                      THE PRESIDENT:  And then you're next.

                      Q    Thank you.

                      THE PRESIDENT:  In order for there to be discussions that will lead to
                 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 tools, what
                 Jordan and the United States can do to stop the violence, bring it down, restore
                 calm?

                      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.  Thank you
                 very much.

                                           END                   1:11 P.M. EDT