Public Papers - 1992
Remarks Prior to Discussions With Ambassador Souheil Chammas of the Lebanese Peace Delegation
The President. Welcome, and my respects to people at home. And we're just delighted you're here at the White House. I think it's proper and fitting, and I'm very pleased you're here.
Q. Are you happy with the way these talks are going, Mr. President?
The President. You can answer, sure.
Ambassador Chammas. Maybe we would have wished that the peace talks go ahead at a larger pace. But I take this opportunity to express the deep gratitude and recognition of the Lebanese Government on behalf of my President, the Prime Minister, and the political leadership, as well as the people of Lebanon. We think the initiative of President Bush in holding the Madrid conference and initiating the peace process will in the end be an historic landmark. And time will prove that we're right. Those of us who have accepted to come and join the peace process came knowing in the end, regardless of the difficulties, it would reach ultimately its fruitful conclusions. And this would be good for the area, its people, and all the states there.
The President. A very good statement. A very good statement.
Q. Do you think the deportation of 400 Palestinians will disrupt the talks?
Ambassador Chammas. It will loom largely over the talks. And we expressly hope that President Bush, with his weight in the administration, will do what they think they can in order to have the Israeli Government rescind the decision, because in itself deportation is bad. And under the circumstances it will adversely affect the peace process, I regret to say. And if the news were to be correct that they could be deported to Lebanon, this will further aggravate an already grave situation in Lebanon. And I'm sure I will ÿ7Eÿ7Eÿ7Eraise ÿ7Eÿ7Eÿ7Ethis ÿ7Eÿ7Eÿ7Ewith ÿ7Eÿ7Eÿ7Ethe ÿ7Eÿ7Eÿ7EPresident ÿ7Eÿ7Eÿ7Eof ÿ7Eÿ7Eÿ7Ethe United States if President Bush would be kind enough to listen to me.
The President. And I look forward to -- [inaudible] -- having a good discussion. Thank you all very much.
Note: The President spoke at 10 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.