Remarks on Signing the Israel-United States Radio Relay Station Site Agreement

June 18, 1987

Well, I want to welcome Minister Yaacobi, and Director-General Gov, Professor Rubenstein, and all the other distinguished guests. And I'm delighted that the exchange of letters between myself and then-Prime Minister Peres some 2\1/2\ years ago has now come to fruition in this agreement for a relay station in Israel, through which the reach and clarity of the Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Europe will be so significantly enhanced. Peoples throughout the Eastern blocs will be the beneficiaries.

My administration, with the kind of bipartisan congressional backing that I would certainly welcome for all our programs, remains dedicated to the long overdue modernization of our international broadcasting capability. Israel's fine gesture has now made a major contribution to that worldwide effort. With this signing, our special historical relationship will be given another dimension. We could not be happier in this partnership with Israel, because it will result in the broader dissemination of those values which we have in common. We stand now together in promoting the exchange of information and ideas throughout the world, as we have stood before and will continue to stand as partners in seeking the free movement of people and the promotion of democratic values and beliefs.

Our international broadcasts are dedicated to presenting, through news and features, an objective picture of American society and, through commentary, a clear statement of American policies and positions on major world issues. To those deprived of the right to express or experience a diversity of views in their own societies, we offer the chance to hear such. At the bottom of it all lies the conviction that the fewer the barriers to communication in the world, the better the chance for success in international relations. I have often expressed that as it's better to be talking to each other than instead of talking about each other.

We owe the Government of Israel our gratitude for being host to the site, and I ask its distinguished representatives here today to convey that to Prime Minister Shamir and others in their government who played major roles in advancing the project. To the negotiators on both sides, my congratulations. And to all of you, my best wishes for the future of this new cooperative venture.

And now, I think we shall all witness the signing. Let me know if you need any old movies. [Laughter]

Note: The President spoke at 3:45 p.m. in Room 450 of the Old Executive Office Building. In his opening remarks, he referred to Israeli Minister of Communications Gad Yaacobi, Director-General Ben-Ami Gov of the Ministry of Communications, and former Minister of Communications Amnon Rubenstein