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Ronald Reagan Administration: Meetings with King Hassan II and Arab League Delegation

(October 22, 1982)

The President. Our meeting today with King Hassan and the delegation is an important milestone along the road toward a common objective: a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. His Majesty King Hassan and his colleagues were forthright and helpful to us in clarifying the positions of the Arab League adopted last month in Fez, Morocco. I've clarified for His Majesty and the delegation a number of points concerning the peace initiative that I announced September 1st.

We listened to one another's views in the spirit of good will, understanding, and mutual respect. Peace in the Middle East means achieving security for all the states in that troubled region -- security for the Arab States and security for Israel and a sense of identity for the Palestinian people. We must pursue these goals rigorously, thoughtfully, and in close consultation with all here.

And like our guests today, we all share the hope of peace. Our mutual goal of peace and the road to it lies through a negotiating process which I hope can be resumed in the very near future. I hope they realize -- all the delegation and His Majesty -- how welcome they are here in the United States and how much we appreciate their coming here.

The King. Mr. President, I and my colleagues would like to assure you, would like to express our gratitude for this wonderful reception we received today and the hospitality which we have received here today.

We also would like to thank you for the depth and the good will which we have witnessed here today as we reviewed with you the hopes of the Arabs and their objectives, which is peace with justice and dignity. I personally believe that we will find in the framework of Security Council Resolution 242 and in 338 and your program, your plan for peace, and the decisions of the Fez conference -- we will find in all these, which will save us a lot of time, in order to achieve our noble aim and objective which is peace and coexistence and construction for the welfare of the region and all mankind.

Thank you very much again, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 1:45 p.m. at the Diplomatic Entrance on the South Grounds of the White House.

King Hassan II of Morocco is Chairman of the Arab League. The delegation included Foreign Ministers Sa'ud al Faysal of Saudi Arabia, Beji Caid es-Sebsi of Tunisia, 'Abd al-Halim Khaddam of Syria, Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi of Algeria, and Marwan al-Kasim of Jordan, and Shazli Klibi, Secretary General of the Arab League.

Earlier in the day, the President and the King held a meeting in the Cabinet Room with members of the delegation and U.S. officials. The President and Mrs. Reagan then met separately with King Hassan and his children. The private visit was followed by a working luncheon in the Residence with the American and Arab League delegations


Sources: Public Papers of the President