Bush: Our Objective Must Be Clear, Straightforward

<i> The following are excerpts from speeches made by President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev at the Middle East peace conference Wednesday</i>

On Summit’s Purpose

“Our objective must be clear and straightforward. . . . We seek peace, real peace. And by real peace I mean treaties. Security. Diplomatic relations. Economic relations. Trade. Investment. Cultural exchange. Even tourism.”

On End to Combat

“What we seek is a Middle East where vast resources are no longer devoted to armaments. A Middle East where young people no longer have to dedicate and, all too often, give their lives to combat. A Middle East no longer victimized by fear and terror. A Middle East where normal men and women lead normal lives.”


On Direct Negotiations

“What we envision is a process of direct negotiations proceeding along two tracks, one between Israel and the Arab states, the other between Israel and the Palestinians. Negotiations are to be conducted on the basis of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.”

On Future Talks

“The real work will not happen here in the plenary session, but in direct bilateral negotiations. This conference cannot impose a settlement on the participants or veto agreements. . . .”


On End Result

“No one can say with any precision what the end result will be; in our view something must be developed, something acceptable to Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan, that gives the Palestinian people meaningful control over their own lives and fate and provides for the acceptance and security of Israel.”

On Territorial Disputes

“Throughout the Middle East we seek a stable and enduring settlement. . . . Nevertheless we believe that territorial compromise is essential for peace. . . . What we seek, as I said on March 6, is a solution that meets the twin tests of fairness and security.”

On Human Toll

“We have seen too many generations of children whose haunted eyes show only fear--too many funerals for their brothers and sisters, the mothers and fathers who died too soon--too much hatred, too little love. And if we cannot summon the courage to lay down the past for ourselves, let us resolve to do it for the children.”

On Arabs

“For too long the Israeli people have lived in fear, surrounded by an unaccepting Arab world. Now is the ideal moment for the Arab world to demonstrate that attitudes have changed . . . and make allowances for Israel’s security needs.”


Gorbachev: Parties Must Share a Common Victory

On Claims of Victory

“The conference can only succeed if the parties involved abandon goals of individual victory and all share a common victory over their cruel history. We must talk of peace and not of an end to the state of war. A durable peace implies the realization and the respect of the rights of the Palestinian people.”

On End of Cold War

“It is clear that without an improvement and a radical change in U.S.-Soviet relations we would not have witnessed such a deep qualitative change which enables us to speak of a new era, an era of peace. . . . It is in this context alone that tangible hope of an Arab-Israeli settlement has appeared.”

On Soviet Involvement

“We have today a unique opportunity. It would be unforgivable to miss it. As co-sponsor of this conference, we will be in regular contact with our American partners, and we will do everything possible to find a solution.”

On Superpower Cooperation


“Immediately after President Bush and I reached agreement over the Gulf War at the meeting in Helsinki in September last year, we began strenuous joint efforts to find a solution which would bring peace to the Middle East. Our joint participation in this process was facilitated by the desire to offer our good offices and not to impose a solution from outside which went against the interests of the countries in the region.”

On Worldwide Expectations

“The Middle East has become one of the most heavily armed regions of the world. Nuclear technology is in place and there are arms of mass destruction, which raise justifiable anxiety. The international community is entitled to expect decisions from this conference in reply to these concerns.”

On Rise of Nationalism

“There is a dramatic rise in nationalist aspirations. These dangers exist and astonishingly are strongly felt in Europe. But this entirely new international environment means that there are far fewer temptations for foreign elements to exploit, for example, the Yugoslav crisis.”

On International Support

“It is important that the world does not remain indifferent to our own cause. Today we are receiving concrete support. And the unilateral initiative by President Bush concerning nuclear disarmament marks a major step and a precious symbol of this trend.”