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Pages 963-997
 
Week Ending Friday, June 29, 2001
 
Remarks at the Swearing-In Ceremony for Howard H. Baker, Jr., as 
Ambassador to Japan

June 26, 2001

    Senator Baker, you've drawn quite a crowd here to the White House. 
[Laughter] Mr. Vice President; Mr. Secretary. CIA Director George Tenet, 
I believe is here. Justice O'Connor is here; thank you so much for

[[Page 972]]

coming. The Ambassador from Japan is here. Thank you very much for being 
here, Mr. Ambassador, and your lovely wife. Madeleine Albright, I 
believe is here--Madame Secretary. Larry Eagleburger is here. Elizabeth 
Dole, I believe is here. Senator. Elizabeth, thank you very much. The 
former Ambassadors to the country of Japan are on the stage with us; 
they have been introduced. Members of the United States Senate are here. 
Members of the Tennessee congressional delegation are here.
    Thank you all for coming, and welcome. Today we call upon one of 
America's most valued statesmen to help be the keeper of one of 
America's most valued friendships. Howard Baker has held many titles 
during the course of his long and distinguished career, they include 
sailor, Senator, minority leader, majority leader, and White House Chief 
of Staff. In a few moments, he'll add Ambassador to that list, and once 
again, America is very grateful.
    All the former Ambassadors here are living examples of the very 
highest standards of diplomatic excellence. And between them, Mike 
Mansfield, Walter Mondale, Tom Foley, and Howard Baker have accumulated 
over 100 years of elected office. [Laughter] That's a lot of balloon 
drops. [Laughter]
    Thirty-four of those years are accounted for by Mike Mansfield 
alone. The Senator began the tradition of high-level political figures 
serving as our Ambassador to Japan. He held that post for more than 11 
years, longer than anyone else. Japanese press calls these figures o-
mono--the big guys. [Laughter] Well, we're all very honored to have the 
original big guy with us.
    And by the way, Senator Thurmond, he informed me--with quite clear 
language--that he is 4 months younger than you are. [Laughter]
    We send the very best people to Japan because the United States has 
no more important partner in the world than Japan. Our alliance is 
rooted in the vital strategic and economic interests that we share. It 
is the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in Asia. Today, this 
partnership is helping us tackle global problems, as well.
    I'm looking forward to welcoming the Prime Minister this weekend at 
Camp David. Together, we will explore ways we can continue to strengthen 
our security relationship. We will talk about the Prime Minister's 
agenda for reforming and revitalizing the Japanese economy. We'll 
discuss how our countries can work together on realistic and effective 
responses to global problems such as AIDS in Africa and climate change.
    I will also tell the Prime Minister that America's 38th Ambassador 
to Japan is a man of extraordinary ability, grace, and good humor. In 
every post he has held, Howard Baker has brought uncommon intelligence 
and an uncanny ability to calm the ship of state, even in days of 
crisis.
    He comes from good stock. His grandmother, Lillie ``Mother Ladd'' 
Mauser--[laughter]--was Tennessee's first woman sheriff. [Laughter] His 
father and his step-mother both served in the House. He married into 
good stock, as well. He counts Senator Everett Dirksen and the grand old 
man of the Grand Old Party, Alf Landon, as fathers-in-law. And what the 
Prime Minister is going to find out, he took an extraordinary woman as a 
bride in Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker.
    In the Senate, Howard Baker had a list of rules for being an 
effective Senator. He called it the Baker's Dozen. The list included: 
listen more often than you speak; be patient; tell the truth, whether 
you have to or not; and finally, be civil and encourage others to do the 
same.
    Well, these rules help explain why Howard Baker has made such a mark 
on American history. They are why he's going to keep making his mark for 
the years to come.
    Congratulations.

Note: The President spoke at 2:48 p.m. in the East Room at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Shunji Yanai, Japanese Ambassador 
to the United States, and his wife, Toshiko; former Secretary of State 
Madeleine K. Albright; former Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence S. 
Eagleburger; former Senator Bob Dole and his wife, former Transportation 
Secretary Elizabeth Dole; and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan. 
The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also 
included the remarks of Ambassador Baker.

[[Page 973]]


<DOC>
[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
 [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
                         

[Page 973-975]
 
Monday, July 2, 2001
 
Volume 37--Number 26
Pages 963-997
 
Week Ending Friday, June 29, 2001
 
Remarks Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel 
and an Exchange With Reporters

June 26, 2001

    President Bush. It's my honor to welcome back to the Oval Office 
Prime Minister Sharon. He is a leader who has faced extraordinary 
circumstances in the Middle East. I believe he's shown patience and is 
willing to lead. I understand the pressures he is under.
    Today it's my opportunity to once again look him in the eye and tell 
him he's got no better friend than the United States and, as well, tell 
him that we all must work to break the cycle of violence so that we can 
begin the process of implementing the Mitchell agreement. Our fervent 
hope in this Nation is that there is peace in the Middle East.
    And I'm so honored you came back, Mr. Prime Minister, and I look 
forward to having the discussion with you that--it will be an add-on to 
the great discussion we had the last time you were here.
    Welcome.
    Prime Minister Sharon. Thank you, Mr. President. I'm very glad to be 
here again. Israel is committed to peace, will make every effort to 
reach peace. Peace should be peace for generations, and peace should 
provide security to the Israeli citizens.
    The Jewish people are having one tiny, small country, that is 
Israel--[inaudible]--would have the right and the capability to defend 
themselves by themselves. And that, of course, we have to preserve, and 
we have to thank God for that every day.
    We are committed to the Mitchell report in its sequence, according 
to sequence. We adopted the Mitchell report, and we received Tenet 
document--Tenet plan. And we'll be willing to continue. The one thing 
that we are looking for is, first of all, it would be full cessation of 
hostilities, of terror, and incitement. If that would happen, I am fully 
convinced that the day will come, and we'll have peace in the Middle 
East.
    I would like to thank Mr. President again for coming here. We regard 
your administration to be a very friendly one, and we would like to 
thank you for that.
    President Bush. And as you know, Mr. Prime Minister, our Secretary 
of State leaves tonight for the Middle East, and our fervent hope is to 
advance the process for making sure there's peace in that part of the 
world.
    We'll be glad to answer a question apiece.

Situation in the Middle East

    Q. Mr. President, do you expect Prime Minister Sharon--do you expect 
Prime Minister Sharon to negotiate under fire, Mr. President?
    White House Aide. Mr. Fournier of the Associated Press.
    Q. Mr. President, the same question to both of you. Do you think it 
is possible--do you think it's appropriate to move to the next step in 
the Mitchell report? They call for a cooling-off period even before 
there's a full cessation of violence.
    President Bush. I think that there has to be. The cycle of violence 
must be broken. I look forward to discussing with the Prime Minister 
about what's realistic and what's possible. But we both believe that it 
is possible if there's a strong effort made by both parties to break the 
cycle of violence.
    Mitchell says it's a sequential process. Step one is to break the 
cycle. And we have been on the phone with all parties--all the time it 
seems like--urging the cycle of violence to be broken. And progress is 
being made. I am here to tell the Prime Minister, I know there's a level 
of frustration, but there is progress being made. And for that progress, 
we are grateful.
    The Prime Minister has shown a lot of patience in the midst of a lot 
of--in the midst of casualty. But progress is being made. Is it as fast 
as we'd like? No, it's not. But the fundamental question my 
administration makes is, are we making progress; is peace closer today 
than it was yesterday? We believe the answer is, yes.
    And therefore, the Secretary of State leaves tonight to try to 
advance the process, to make peace more real. And he's going to meet not 
only with the Israelis; he'll be meeting with the Palestinians, as well; 
urging--urging the cycle of violence to be broken.
    Q. The question to both of you, though, is, can we move to step two 
now, even though there is not a complete end to violence?

[[Page 974]]

    President Bush. We're going to discuss all opportunities today, in 
the meeting today. If I didn't think progress is being made, I would not 
be sending the Secretary of State to the Middle East. We believe we have 
a further opportunity to advance the peace process. This is an important 
statement of the progress that's being made. So the Secretary of State 
leaves tonight to continue working hard to break the cycle of violence.
    Both parties will understand when the level of violence has gotten 
down to the point where there can be some progress. We just want to make 
sure that there's a realistic assessment of what is possible on the 
ground. And we believe that at some point in time we can start the 
process of Mitchell.
    Prime Minister Sharon. Thank you. First of all, I would like to wish 
to Secretary of State Colin Powell success in his trip to the Middle 
East. I know that he, like the President, makes a major effort to bring 
security and peace in the Middle East.
    Israel's position is that we can negotiate only, and we would like 
to negotiate only when it will be full cessation of hostilities, terror, 
violence, and incitement. Otherwise, I don't think we'd be able to reach 
a peace which will really make all of us committed to.
    One must understand that if last week we had 5 dead, it's like the 
United States, Mr. President, having 250 killed, or maybe even 300 
people killed by terror. And that is saying that one should not 
compromise with terror. And therefore, I believe that if we stick to 
what we have been saying for so many times, such a long time, that it 
should be full cessation of terror before we move to the other phase, 
then our neighbors will understand that they have to do it.
    Q. Mr. Prime Minister--[inaudible]--also ready for a full freeze of 
settlements?
    Q. Mr. President, how can we----
    Q. Mr. Prime Minister, do you see any signs that Yasser Arafat 
stopped the violence and is willing to go to peace with Israel?
    Q. [Inaudible]--peace timetable says----
    Q. Mr. Prime Minister, do you see any progress on Arafat's side?
    Israeli Embassy Spokesman. Israeli Television, go.
    Q. Mr. President, you said that we----
    President Bush. Whew! Man. [Laughter] I don't know if they wore you 
out, but I'm certainly worn out. [Laughter] Go on.
    Prime Minister Sharon. [Inaudible]--asked by American television----
    President Bush. I don't know, but Gregory [David Gregory, NBC News] 
looks like he's got one on the tip of your tongue. That's right. 
[Laughter]
    Q. Mr. President, you said that we should be realistic. Don't you 
think it's a price for terrorists, for terrorism, if right now the 
United States will force Israel to begin the cooling-off period? We see 
that in the field the hostilities continue.
    President Bush. Any terror is too much terror. Any death is too much 
death. We recognize that, and we recognize the pressure that the Prime 
Minister is under. And we condemn terror. We condemn violence. We 
condemn death.
    We also believe progress is being made. If you look at--yes, there's 
violence; yes, there's terror; but it's being isolated; it's beginning 
to--contained. Can the parties do more? Absolutely. And that's what the 
Secretary of State is going to do, is to urge Mr. Arafat to do more, to 
take better control of his security forces.
    We're going to talk to the Prime Minister about his attitudes. We're 
friends, and I believe that what's important from this perspective is 
not to let the progress that's been made so far to break apart. We 
cannot let violence take hold.
    And so that's why I've said I admire the Prime Minister's restraint 
and his patience. I understand the difficulties and the pressures. As he 
just said, 5 Israeli lives lost is equivalent of 250--5 is too many. But 
nevertheless, progress is being made. And it's essential that we 
continue the process and continue the progress that's being made. We're 
gaining by inches. I recognize progress is in inches, not in miles. But 
nevertheless, an inch is better than nothing.
    And so therefore, this administration is committed to working with 
the parties. We urge people in the region----
    Q. [Inaudible]--the decision----
    President Bush. [Inaudible]--we urge people in the region to stop 
the violence. And

[[Page 975]]

that's first and foremost. You know, it's-- either you're an optimist in 
life or not. And I'm optimistic that we can get--start the process of 
Mitchell at some point in time.
    Q. But Mr. Prime Minister----
    Prime Minister Sharon. I would like to answer to the Israeli Radio. 
Yesterday we had 16 terror attacks. And that included multi-fire; it 
included side bombs; it included shooting and sniping. We had 10 
wounded. So all together, generally speaking, maybe there are less, but 
still terror is going on. And by now, though I would like very much to 
hear that Chairman Arafat instructed to re-arrest those terrorists which 
are planning and sending and mobilizing those suiciders, he has not done 
it yet. He has not instructed to arrest them, and they were not 
arrested. And beside that, he has not instructed yet to stop incitement. 
And that, of course, he could do--I would say he could have done it 
immediately because he controlled the--[inaudible]--completely.
    Q. But will you negotiate under fire, Mr. Prime Minister? Will you 
negotiate under fire?
    Prime Minister Sharon. I've said it very clearly. Israel will not 
negotiate under fire and under terror. We said it because if we do that, 
we'll never reach peace. That is the point. It's not--what I'm saying is 
not an obstacle, not a barrier against peace. On the contrary, if we 
will be very strict, then the Palestinians will understand they cannot 
gain anything by terror. Therefore, we have to be very strict in order 
to reach peace, which all of us would like to have.

Note: The President spoke at 3:25 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Chairman Yasser Arafat of the 
Palestinian Authority. The President also referred to the Mitchell 
report, the Report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, issued 
April 30, 2001. A tape was not available for verification of the content 
of these remarks.


<DOC>
[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
 [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
                         

[Page 975-976]
 
Monday, July 2, 2001
 
Volume 37--Number 26
Pages 963-997
 
Week Ending Friday, June 29, 2001
 
Proclamation 7452--Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants 
of Persons Responsible for Actions That Threaten International 
Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans, and Persons Responsible 

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