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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 15, 2001
Remarks by the President in Q&A with the Travel Press Pool
Griegos Elementary School
Albuquerque, New Mexico
11:40 A.M. MDT
Q One question about the Middle East, sir. Do you believe that they are on the brink of war there? And have you come to believe that it's no longer realistic --
THE PRESIDENT: -- the violence in the Middle East, but I'm confident that the leadership there will understand that war is avoidable and will work to bring peace. The parties must -- must -- make up their mind that peace is preferable to war. The suicide bombings have increased; there's too many of them. And Mr. Arafat must do everything in his power to discourage the suicide bombers. And the Israelis must be restrained in their response.
There's too much violence in the Middle East, but I'm confident that we can avoid war, so long as the leadership makes the concerted effort to do so. My administration is constantly in touch with the parties. I spoke to Secretary Powell this morning. We're working with the appropriate folks. The Egyptians are in town. Not only are we talking to the Palestinians and the Israelis, we're talking to other nations in the neighborhood to encourage them to convince Mr. Arafat to do everything he can to prevent and stop suicide bombings and needless violence.
Congratulations, Gregory. You actually got me to say something. (Laughter.)
Q I know this wasn't the place.
END 11:42 A.M. MDT