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Secretary Of State Delivers Remarks Upon Her Arrival In Israel



ALBRIGHT: I'm pleased to be here in Israel as secretary of state, to see with my new responsibilities, a country I have visited several times before, and to begin by meeting with Foreign Minister Levy and now with President Weizman whose remarkable career reflects the many dimensions of Israel's turbulent, but proud, history.

I arrived with a straight-forward message from President Clinton and from the American people. We are with you in the battle against terror and the struggle for security. We are with you in demanding that those who orchestrated the murder of innocent people in the marketplace and the mall be tracked down and punished. We are with you in your insistence that the Palestinian Authority fulfill the responsibilities and obligations it has undertaken. And we are with you in the determination that those who commit terror will not succeed now or ever in preventing the possibilities of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and throughout the Middle East from becoming a reality.

Events of recent days weigh heavily upon us all. I am grateful to President Weizman for his invitation to join him in visiting later this morning with some of those injured in the recent explosions. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of those tragic acts of cowardice, and with their families and with those who have been victimized in the past.

During the next few days, I will be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other leaders and will have much more to say about the peace process and the need for mutual responsibility and a renewed sense of partnership. But I also want to emphasize at the outset of my visit the deep bonds of friendship and understanding that make the U.S.-Israeli relationship unlike any other.

From the moment President Truman recognized the state of Israel 11 minutes after she was born, our countries have shared a love of freedom, a hunger for justice, a commitment to human dignity, and a desire for peace, that our peoples value learning and hard work. Both are proud of culture of and tradition. Both are diverse, made up of immigrants from around the world. The partnership between our two countries is deeply rooted in history and shared values, and it has yielded rich dividends for both.

Economically, through our free trade agreement and cooperation in science and technology, we have helped each other prosper and keep the pace with an ever-changing global marketplace. Militarily, we have cooperated in many areas, including early warning and missile defense, and the United States remains absolutely committed to helping Israel maintain its qualitative military edge.

Politically, our countries have worked together to strengthen the forces of democracy around the globe.

And diplomatically, the United States and Israel have joined with our Arab partners not only to pursue peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but also to move toward a comprehensive peace characterized by secure borders, energized by regional cooperation, and backed by a world wide effort to increase prosperity for Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs alike.

No people has suffered more from the ravages of terrorism, injustice, intolerance than the people of Israel. No nation has a more remarkable record of overcoming adversity than Israel. And no country has demonstrated a stronger will than Israel to deny to oppressors and murderers the victories they seek.

Terrorists can create grief, but they cannot defeat hope. And I am confident the people of this region of all faiths and backgrounds will not allow terrorists to define or limit the future.

Although we are very much focussed this week on the question of security, we also know that the path to real security is not separable from the path to real peace. One goes with the other. Neither can go it alone. And the people of Israel, especially the children of Israel, deserve a future with both.

According to the Psalm, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." It has been a long night, and the joyous morning of true, lasting, and secure peace has not yet brightened the land.

Israel's dream has not yet fully come true. Nevertheless, remarkable progress has been made in the 100 years since Theodor Herzl assembled the first Zionist congress, in the half century since David Ben Gurion inaugurated modern Israel, in the two decades since Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat achieved their breakthrough at Camp David, and even in the four years since former Prime Minister Rabin, Chairman Arafat, and President Clinton met on the White House lawn.

Israeli history is characterized by striving for peace, hope for a better future, courage, and leadership. Those traits have brought Israel to the threshold of the 21st century strong, increasingly prosperous, and respected by all who value bravery and love freedom. And those traits have earned Israel the unbreakable and unending friendship of the people and government of the United States.

In closing, let me thank you again, Mr. President, for your welcome here. I am also pleased to announce that President Clinton has extended an invitation to you to visit Washington in early October, so I'm able to look forward not only to our discussions today in your country, but also to your visit with us.

Thank you very much.

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