OPENING REMARKS BY ELYAKIM RUBINSTEIN

HEAD OF THE ISRAELI DELEGATION TO THE ISRAEL-JORDAN PEACE TALKS

THE DEAD SEA

August 9, 1994

The memories of yesterday are with us today as we resume the bilateral negotiations because of the unforgettable event where His Majesty King Hussein joined Prime Minister Rabin in the presence of President Clinton in announcing the termination of the state of belligerency and war between Israel and Jordan. These echoes are still with us today. So is the sound of the wings of His Majesty’s plane crossing the sky of Israel, and we had an opportunity to talk about it just a minute later, Dr. Tarawneh and myself, as I called him from Tel-Aviv, from my car, in fact when I was watching the plane and listening to the radio and calling Dr. Tarawneh to tell him I just saw the plane. And then the voices of the direct telephone link inaugurated two days ago between the President of Israel and His Majesty the King of Jordan. And, of course, we were all encouraged by the very touching moments of yesterday in the crossing point and in Aqaba.

So, the noise of the sweeping of mines which have divided us, as the Prime Minister mentioned yesterday, symbolized the end of the state of war. These war symbols are gone, and the path of peace between the two countries has replaced them with the assistance of the military forces of both countries. May this be the only role. Soon, God willing, we hope to open the second border crossing in the north, as announced in the Washington Declaration, after its exact location will be worked out by agreement.

Dr. Tarawneh, ladies and gentlemen,

Even during hours of joy, we should not forget, as His Highness the Crown Prince said yesterday: How can we forget that we have not yet reached the full desired tranquility? Even during these very days, dark and extreme forces in our neighborhood and the region outside continued to hurt the peace efforts. We mourn, in our country, our victims. But we will not stop peace efforts, and we heard echoes of the same thought in the message of His Highness yesterday. We will work to this goal until it is reached.

Dr. Tarawneh, friends,

Our delegations will continue this week, next week, negotiations on matters of substance on the road to the treaty of peace: security, boundary which is meeting today in the Arava; water, economy, environment, energy, civil aviation, tourism, the fight against crime and drugs, etc.

We believe that a just peace can and will be reached between us in its fullest sense.

Needless to say, we will honor every result of the negotiations in all spheres, and we believe it is possible to achieve results which both sides view as just.

As I was watching the transformation of the minefield and the hills and the small dirt road into a real, lively road between the two countries in just a few days we were there on Tuesday seeing the first negotiation and on Monday everything was already transformed I thought to myself that we were witnessing with our own eyes the beautiful comfort prophecy of prophet Isaiah, which symbolizes not only the physical transformation, but also the spiritual change, the change of heart between the two countries.

The prophet says:

"A voice calls out in the wilderness: Make clear the way of the Lord. Make straight in the Arava a highway for God. Every valley shall be raised, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made a straight path and the rough places, a plain."

(Arabic translation)

Thank you very much.