News

May 15, 1998

[EXCERPTS] REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER HASHIMOTO IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

10:34 A.M. (L)





                               THE WHITE HOUSE

                        Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Birmingham, England)
________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                     May 15, 1998     

                           REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                         AND PRIME MINISTER HASHIMOTO
                             IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

                              The Swallow Hotel
                             Birmingham, England


10:34 A.M. (L)


.....................


	     Q	  Mr. President, do you believe it's inevitable 
that the Pakistanis will detonate a nuclear device?  Is it 
inevitable, sir? 
	     
	     THE PRESIDENT:  No.  But they're under a lot of 
pressure to do so.  I hope we can find a formula -- perhaps those 
of us here at the G-8 can make a contribution to that -- I hope 
we can have a formula within which they will find it possible 
--politically possible not to go forward.  It would be a -- show 
a great act of statesmanship and restraint on their part.  You 
can imagine, when you put yourself in Pakistan's position, you 
can imagine the overwhelming political pressure that must be 
building up on them at home.

	     But I really believe that if we work hard we might 
be able to find a way that the Pakistani people would also 
support to avoid this.  

	     An arms race on the Indian subcontinent in nuclear 
weapons is not in the interest of sustaining the future of 
Pakistan.

	     Q	  Are you going to offer them their money back 
from the F-16s, sir? 

	     Q	  What would you offer them? 
	     
	     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we've been working on a 
resolution of the F-16 matter literally for five years.  I don't 
think many Americans who understand this issue feel very good 
about the position that was taken several years ago, before I 
became President, that they had paid for these planes, and then 
because of the later findings, we couldn't deliver the planes but 
they couldn't get their money back.  So it's been a very 
frustrating thing for me.  I think the Pakistanis have a genuine 
grievance, a legitimate grievance against the United States on 
this count.  And I believe we found a way to work through that 
before this incident developed. 

	     But obviously that might be one part of the 
resolution to this, but this is something that I think requires a 
lot more discussion.  Perhaps we'll have more to say before the 
G-8 is over, but I hope that all of us together can find a way in 
which the Pakistani government and the Prime Minister can avoid 
the tests and the people can accept and embrace that approach. 

	     Q	  Sir, you and Prime Minister Hashimoto obviously 
agree on sanctions, but what about this summit?  What kind of a 
statement do you hope the entire summit will come up with since 
the other leaders apparently are not too agreeable to sanctions?
	     
	     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, from my point of view, I hope 
it will be as strong and unambiguous as possible.  I will say 
again, I have followed very closely the events in India since the 
tests.  I have watched on the news and listened very carefully to 
the statements by the representatives of the Indian government, 
including the Prime Minister.  

	     I believe that -- you know, soon India will be the 
largest country in the world in population.  They have the 
biggest middle class in the world.  They're going to have a very 
large say in the 21st century.  And no less than other countries 
that are emerging -- China, a new democratic Russia, which Prime 
Minister Hashimoto has done a lot of work on in the last several 
months -- these countries will have to decide how they will 
define their greatness, and will they define it in 21st century 
terms, in terms of the achievements of their people and their 
ability to lead through example and cooperation; or will they 
define it in the starkest terms of the 20th century, including 
how many nuclear weapons they have. 

	     I'm doing my best to reduce the nuclear threat.  If 
the Russian Duma ratifies START II, which I hope they will in the 
near future, I'm anxious to get to work on START III to reduce 
our own nuclear levels lower.  So I personally don't believe 
that's the best way to guarantee India's security or its 
greatness, to basically call up the darker elements of the 20th 
century.

	     We just have to keep working on this, and we have to 
be both firm and unambiguous on the one hand, and then on the 
other hand try to find a constructive out of this for India, for 
Pakistan, and for all the countries involved.  And I'll do my 
best.

...............


	     PRIME MINISTER HASHIMOTO:  I'd like to say a few 
words myself.  I'm very honored to have this official invitation 
to visit Washington, D.C., in July, and I'm very pleased that I 
will be able to accept it . 

	     And I totally share the President's --  Bill's 
intention that the international community must issue a strong 
and unequivocal statement on the nuclear experiment by India.  We 
have to stop the contagious effect of this experiment in the 
region.  And also the developing situations in Indonesia, in both 
our minds this is an issue of common concern, so I look forward 
to discussions on these issues. 

...........


            END                        10:51 A.M. (L)