Remarks of the President and King Hussein I of Jordan Following Their Meetings

December 23, 1982

The President. Your Majesty, we've had extremely productive talks, and I think we've made significant progress toward peace. We have initiated a dialog from which we should not consider turning back.

Much work remains to be done, and the road ahead is tough. But it's the right road, and I remain optimistic that direct negotiations for a just resolution of the Palestinian problem in the context of a real and enduring peace is within our reach.

Your visit has served as a reminder that the bonds of friendship that link Jordan and the United States are as strong as ever. And I am gratified as well by the warmth and good will which characterize our personal relationship.

I hope we can build on these bases in the weeks and months ahead to achieve the objective -- enduring peace -- which we and our people so fully share.

Your Majesty, I wish you a safe trip and look forward to our next meeting.

The King. Mr. President, I thank you once again, sir, for the privilege and pleasure I've had, together with my party from Jordan, of meeting you, sir, and being with our friends at this very important, historical point in time in terms of our common hopes, in terms of the future of the area I come from, and the future of generations to come.

To the skeptics, I would like to say that it has been, in my view, a very successful visit. I believe, sir, that we have an understanding of each other's views better than at any time in the past.

I can also seek to advise our friends that Jordan has been committed for the cause of establishing a just and durable peace. This has been our record since '67. This was re-emphasized by the first summit, representing the view and the consensus of the entire Arab world. And I hope that I've been able on this visit to assure you, sir, and our friends, of our determination to do all in our power for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East.

We will go back to our area. We will be in close contact over the coming period with our brethren there. There is much that we will take back with us, and we hope to be in touch again. I hope to have the privilege and pleasure of being with you, sir, before too long.

Rest assured of our commitment to the cause of future generations, their rights to live in peace and security in our entire area. I hope that we can contribute our share for a better, safer, more stable life for generations to come in the Middle East.

Thank you so much, sir, for your many kindnesses and your warm welcome. And may I also wish you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year, sir.

Note: The President spoke at 2:42 p.m. on the South Grounds of the White House.

Earlier, the President and the King met in the Oval Office with a group of U.S. officials and then in the Cabinet Room with members of the Jordanian delegation.