Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the President's Meeting With
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of
President Reagan met with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. The President
and the Foreign Minister discussed bilateral issues, the upcoming U.S.-Soviet
summit, and the urgent need to make progress toward peace in the
discussing the summit, the President spoke of our four-part agenda -- bilateral
relations, human rights, arms reduction, regional conflicts -- and emphasized
that we will, as always, press for the unimpeded right of Soviet Jewry to
emigrate. The President also spoke of our determination to make progress toward
While being steadfast in his commitment to Israeli strength and security, the Foreign Minister has a vision for the future, recognizes the increasing danger of the status quo, and understands the negative consequences of passivity and delay in the search for a settlement. The Foreign Minister is creative and has the courage and wisdom to say yes when real opportunities arise.
Such a positive attitude toward peace is essential for both Israeli and Arab leaders if there is to be a comprehensive settlement in the region. A settlement must be grounded on the realistic basis of UNSC [United Nations Security Council] Resolution 242 and its call for an exchange of territory for peace. Those leaders who are negative, consistently reject new ideas, and fail to exploit realistic opportunities to bring about negotiations make progress impossible. In the end, they will have to answer to their own people for the suffering that will inevitably result.
President also told the Foreign Minister that Secretary of State Shultz would
be going to the
Minister Peres agreed that regional trends should add to our collective sense
of urgency in pursuing