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

February 13, 1984

The President. King Hussein and I met today in the spirit of good will and cooperation that characterizes the relationship between the United States and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Cooperation between us is increasingly vital in the face of the tragic violence in Lebanon, a growing terrorist threat, and the ominous cloud of war that hovers over much of the Middle East.

Today we witness bloodshed and conflict between Iran and Iraq, in Chad, in the Western Sahara, and Lebanon. And now, as never before, it behooves people of good will to work together for peace and stability.

King Hussein has led Jordan with strength and wisdom these last three decades. He's an experienced statesman, and his insights are valuable to us as well as to the people of Jordan. His Majesty was an important force behind the U.N. Resolution 242, which continues to be the starting point for tangible Middle East peace efforts, including my own peace initiative of September 1, 1982.

King Hussein has proven himself a responsible leader and a reliable friend on many occasions. His support for friends in the Gulf region has demonstrated his capacity for deeds as well as words. The economic progress of his people, the political equality and the religious tolerance found in Jordan are a tribute to the benevolence of his reign, and I am grateful for his counsel.

His Majesty's visit strengthens the bonds of friendship that link Jordan and the United States. America's commitment to help Jordan meet its security needs remains firm and unwavering.

Today we spoke of a number of bilateral concerns, but the focus of our meeting was on the issues affecting regional peace. We both believe that while the challenges remain formidable, the opportunities for a broader peace are still present. We also agree that terrorism cannot be tolerated and that the leaders of all states must stand together against this new barbarism that threatens civilization.

States that condone terrorism undermine their own legitimacy. In these times of trial, disillusionment would be easy. But my meeting today with King Hussein has reaffirmed to me that the good and decent people of this world can and will work together and that progress can be made toward the perplexing problem of peace in the Middle East.

Your Majesty, it's good to have you here.

The King. Thank you very much, sir.

Mr. President, once again, sir, it's a privilege and a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to meet with you as the leader of the United States of America, as a man I respect and admire, as a friend. And I would like to say that these feelings are shared by my government and my people -- the feelings of pride in our friendship, the feelings of pride in the fact that our goals and aims are one and the same; our ideas, our principles, our belonging to the family of free people throughout the world.

The challenges before us are indeed tremendous, but the determination is there to strive for a better tomorrow. This is a cause to which we are dedicated in Jordan -- the cause of a stable area, the cause of establishing, eventually, a just and lasting peace in the area, the cause of a better future for generations to come.

On all the subjects, sir, that you were kind enough to address, I could not in all honesty say that I could have presented my views any differently. I thank you for the opportunity and the chance, sir, to discuss problems of the moment and to share with you the vision of the future and to reaffirm our commitment to our common goals of a better future within our area and within the world and for the establishment of a just and durable peace.

We are proud of our friendship, and we will do all we can to see it grow and flourish in every way and in every area. Thank you once again, sir, for the wonderful opportunity of meeting with you. God bless you, and thanks again for all your kindnesses to me.

Note: The President spoke at 1:06 p.m. at the South Portico of the White House.

Earlier, the President and the King met in the Oval Office and then attended a working luncheon, together with U.S. and Jordanian officials, in the State Dining Room.