Public Papers

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on President Bush's Telephone Conversation With Seymour Reich of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations


The President talked by telephone this afternoon with Seymour Reich, president of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations. The President urged Mr. Reich and all those who shared his concern for the Middle East to continue to devote themselves to bringing about as soon as possible a pre-elections dialog between Israelis and Palestinians. This remains the surest path available to promoting a peace that would ensure Israeli security and the legitimate political rights of Palestinians.

The President also reiterated that U.S. policy toward Jerusalem is unchanged. The United States supports a united Jerusalem whose final status is determined by negotiations. The President also made clear U.S. support for Jews as well as others to live there in the context of a negotiated settlement. The President also reiterated long-standing U.S. policy that all parties avoid unilateral actions, including settlement activity.

The President also used the occasion of his conversation with Mr. Reich to state his strong support for the immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel, and made it clear that the United States will oppose any efforts designed to frustrate this human right. The President expressed his administration's support for proposed housing investment guarantees, provided the United States and Israel can work out assurances that satisfy the United States on settlement activity.