Informal Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With President Joaquin Balaguer Ricardo of the Dominican Republic

 

March 25, 1988

 

Q. Is everything calm and peaceful in the Dominican Republic?

 

President Balaguer. Yes, everything is calm and peaceful -- as peaceful and tranquil as it can possibly be in today's world.

 

Q. How about our country, Mr. President? Is our country peaceful and tranquil, too?

 

President Reagan. I would say the situation is normal.

 

Nicaraguan Cease-Fire Agreement

 

Q. How about the cease-fire talks? Are you happy with the outcome?

 

President Reagan. Well, I only have to say, of course, that we've looked forward to this and hope it continues. But, I still think that -- just as in some other meetings that have gone on in which I've been involved -- I think that we should keep in mind that both parties must be dedicated to the things that are said and agreed to at those meetings.

 

Q. Sounds like you are suspicious they won't be.

 

President Reagan. I think there's reason to have caution. They have a past record that indicates that we should be.

 

General Noriega of Panama

 

Q. Are we going to see General Noriega in the Dominican Republic?

 

President Reagan. No, that's not far enough.

 

Missile Sites in Saudi Arabia

 

Q. Mr. President, there have been suggestions that the Israelis might attack the new Saudi missile sites. How would the United States feel about that?

 

President Reagan. Well, naturally, we would be totally opposed to any such thing and hope that they're not considering any such act.

 

Gridiron Dinner

 

Q. Are you all set for the Gridiron?

 

President Reagan. Is one ever set for that?

 

Dominican Republic-U.S. Relations

 

Q. President Reagan, can we ask you some questions about the relations with the Dominican Republic and the United States? Is there a possibility of getting more help from the United States of America Republic in terms of the sugar war, things like this?

 

President Reagan. As you know, we've had some problems both ways, with the Congress and matters of that kind, but I can assure you that we feel that the relationship we have with the Dominican Republic is of the best, and we treasure it and hope to continue that close relationship.

 

Note: The exchange began at 11:40 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. President Balaguer spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.