April 28, 1994

May 4th – Target Date for Israel-PLO Signature

The following is the text of a press conference held today in Cairo, after a four-sided meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Peres, US Secretary of State Christopher, PLO Chairman Arafat and host Egyptian President Mubarak, in which a target date for signing of the Israel-PLO Accord on Gaza/Jericho Implementation was set for May 4th 1994:

President Mubarak: We had a good meeting today. I started meeting with the Secretary of State, Mr. Warren Christopher, and before that, I had a long meeting with Mr. Arafat and his collegues, and I met with Mr. Peres. After that, we had, the four of us, one meeting, discussing several points which are still problems. And we concluded, and we think that several points, some small issues which will be a little bit difficult, need to be discussed in the coming one or two days.

There will be a meeting between Mr. Arafat and Mr. Rabin before the signature, because there are still two small issues which should be decided between the two leaders. I hope and I have suggested that the parties meet for the signature on the 4th in Cairo. Both have agreed on that date. The signature will be on the 4th. The meeting between Mr. Rabin and Mr. Arafat will be on the eve of the 3rd of the month. Whenever we sign this issue, we will come to a good result for implemeting the conditions of peace.

And I asked Mr. Christopher just I tell you this I know that he is busy with some other issues I asked him to delay his work in some other place on the earth and be here to see the signature of this declaration, which all of us know the role of the United States in that. Thank You.

Secretary Christopher: Thank you Mr. President. As the President said, we had a good meeting, some further progress was made on outstanding issues. What I found to be so impressive was the sense of urgencey that both sides now have about reaching the conclusion of this implementation agreement.

I have agreed to stay on until the 3rd and the 4th, to assist in whatever way we can. And I am very pleased that the parties have settled on the 4th as a target date for the signing of the implementation.

I want to thank, particularly, President Mubarak, for the role he has played all the way through, but particularly taday for his role as the convener and the person who really brought the two parties into the agreement that we should set the target date. Thank you Mr. President for tremendous service.

Chairman Arafat: We have to thank your Exellency from our hearts. We have to also thank his Excellency President Clinton and Mr. Christopher for their continous efforts. Thank you Excellency for our achieving what we are achieving today. And we hope that very soon we will, as we have done before, the next meeting next week will be something concrete and something of substance, concrete, on the ground, we that we can offer to our two peoples.

Minister Peres: I want to second the thanks of the Chairman towards the President of Egypt and the Secretary of State of the United States for their participation and support.

For us, I thind it is the end of a long voyage and the beginning of a new chapter in the relations between the Palestinian people and ourselves, adding another footstep toward peace in the Middle East. Thank you.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS:

Q: Mr. Arafat, what are the two issues that you have yet to discuss with Mr. Rabin? And on the issues that you have already concluded, what issues have you already councluded? And are you happy with them?

Chairman Arafat: Wait and see.

Minister Peres: The two issues are the size of Jericho and the guard on the bridge. It was agreed with the Chairman that this would be decided when the talks continue. These are the two issues that the Chairman and the Prime Minister have to decide.

Q:Does that mean that you have already agreed on the issues of registration and postage?

President Mubarak: They told you that there are still some minor issues that are going to be negotiated now. Today and tommorrow. We hope for good negotiations today.

Q: Mr. Secretary, the pace of the peace process on the Syrian-Israel track is slow. How can we give it a momentum and what are the new ideas you are carrying with you to the Syrians that would bring them back to the negotiating table of the peace talks and get withdrawal of the Israelis from the Golan Heights?

Secretary Christopher: Well, as far as momentum, I think if the parties will look at what’s happened here and see President Mubarak’s statement we have a target date for the signing of the implementation of the Declaration of Principles that itself creates a very important sense of momentum.

I’ll be meeting with Prime Minister Rabin probably now not until tommorrow because of duties here tonight but I’ll be meeting with him and I’ll be meeting with President Assad on Saturday and I hope that the facilitation that I can accomplish in the course of these meetings will give a new sense of momentum. I think you understand why in the role that we are playing, I am not able to say more about the details.