THE PRESIDENT: I want to welcome all of you here to the White House — young people from all across the Middle East. We have here Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Moroccan, and Jordanian young people coming together to our country as ambassadors of peace for an entire generation.
A year ago, almost to the day, we had the signing of the Israeli-PLO accord here. And there were young people from Seeds of Peace here. And when they were here I saw them and asked that all present dedicate themselves to peace for the next generation. Since then we have seen an agreement between Israel and Jordan. We have seen further peace on the other Middle East fronts — further progress on the other Middle East peace fronts. And we have seen just last week Morocco and Israel take the first step toward establishing diplomatic relations.
But ahead of all that is the simple magic of the person-to-person relationships that you are building, and a future you are building for yourselves. I hope so much that by the time all of you are my age the problems of the Middle East will be a distant memory, and all of you will celebrate the unity and strength, the harmony and prosperity of a region of people working together just as you have
sung together today and come together in the United States.
This is a time of peace as well as trouble in the world. We see progress in the Middle East. We see progress in Ireland. We see democracy taking root in Russia. There is a great deal to hope for and a great deal of work to do. I think it is fair to say that for me and for all of us who have seen you here in the United States the image of you smiling together, of you singing together, of you being together will spur us on to try to make sure that the future that you share will be a future you share together.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
MR. WALLACH: Mr. President, since we have five countries and communities represented, it was very difficult to choose one country and one young man or woman to make the presentation. Since Egypt and President Anwar Sadat was the first to make peace with Israel, we thought it was appropriate that an Egyptian young man, Tamer, who was part of our program last year, should make the presentation to you. (Applause.)
TAMER: Mr. President, on behalf of all the Seeds of Peace, I would like to thank Your Honor about all the efforts that you have done toward the peace process in the Middle East and your supporting to the Seeds of Peace program, which really helped.
The Seeds of Peace idea is very important to everyone, because we had enough from wars and struggles, so Mr. John Wallach, the great man, who thought about this program was very truthful and a hard worker to achieve the goals. And he was foresighted because children of today are the leaders and the people of tomorrow who will lead their countries to a peaceful world, because peace between people is more important than peace between governments on paper. The individual relationships are the ones who will affect the world, not the official relationships. So that’s why Mr. John Wallach took care of the real peaceful future, not the papers and the agreements.
I really hope we’ll have this utopia, land of heaven, because in the security of peace, all countries can solve their problems, can progress in all issues, and all the people will have the security to live happily within the trust between each other.
At the end, I thank you again for helping us to make the dream come true.
Thank you. (Applause.)
Mr. President, there is a small gift from all the delegation that I would like to present to you on behalf of them. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) That’s terrific. Good luck to you. Thank you.
TAMER: Thank you very much.
THE PRESIDENT: Let’s give him another hand. Didn’t he do a good job? (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you.