THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Auckland, New Zealand)
|For Immediate Release
||September 12, 1999
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON,
PRESIDENT KIM OF REPUBLIC OF KOREA,
AND PRIME MINISTER OBUCHI OF JAPAN
IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Stamford Plaza Hotel
Auckland, New Zealand
12:02 P.M. (L)
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Let me say just very briefly, I am honored to
have the opportunity to have this meeting with President Kim and Prime
Minister Obuchi. We have much to discuss. But I would just mention two
or three issues -- our common interest in stability and reconciliation on
the Korean Peninsula, our concern about events in East Timor, our
commitment to try to find a common ground on economic issues here and at
the WTO meeting to be held in Seattle in the next couple of months, and
our commitment to continued, sustained economic growth in the nations of
I'm very concerned and pleased with the apparent economic
turnaround in the region, and I want to do whatever I can to continue to
support both these leaders as they attempt to lead the way there.
I also will reaffirm what I said yesterday in my meeting with
President Jiang, which is the interests of the United States in the
long-term stable, constructive relationship with China, something I know
that is supported by both President Kim and Prime Minister Obuchi.
So I am delighted to have them here.
Q Mr. President, you mentioned earlier that you would
support an international force in East Timor, but you didn't say anything
about a commitment of U.S. troops. Could you give us your thinking on
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, the discussions that I have had with
Prime Minister Howard and others, but since Australia would lead this
mission and provide most of the troops, have centered around our providing
some of the things that only we can provide, probably, like extensive
airlift support to bring troops from other countries, primarily of Asia,
into the theater; other logistical support, intelligence, communications
-- some things which would require our presence in a limited way within
the country, within East Timor.
Our people are working that out. General Shelton and our
Commander, our Commander in Chief of the Pacific, Admiral Blair, are
working with the Australians and no final decisions have been made, nor
could they be until I have extensive congressional consultations. I've
talked to, oh, probably eight or ten congressional leaders on this, and
the Secretary of Defense and Mr. Podesta, on my behalf back home, have
talked to many more. But we haven't finalized anything yet.
Keep in mind, the position of the international community at the
moment is that such a force would have to be approved by the United
Nations, which would only happen if Indonesia asked for it. So right now
I think the important thing is to keep the pressure up here to try to get
the Indonesians to fix the problem and, if not, to go on and ask for help,
support from the United Nations.
Q (Question asked in Korean.)
PRESIDENT KIM: (Answered in Korean.)
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Would you like to say anything?
PRIME MINISTER OBUCHI: (Makes statement in Japanese.)
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you very much.
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