ACCESSION NUMBER:326427 FILE ID:NEA303 DATE:02/09/94 TITLE:WHITE HOUSE REPORT, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 (02/09/94) TEXT:*94020907.POL *NEA303 02/09/94 * WHITE HOUSE REPORT, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 (Arab boycott, House banking committee) (720) CLINTON SEEKS END TO ARAB BOYCOTT President Clinton told members of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) -- including the president of the Jewish community in Sarajevo -- that Arab nations should end their boycott of Israel and treat Tel Aviv as a partner, not a "pariah." "To achieve our goal of a comprehensive settlement," the president said, "we are insisting that the Arab boycott of Israel end now. There must be a commitment to a new era of peace and prosperity which sees in the Middle East partnership with Israel. Israel must be the partner of these nations, no longer a pariah." Clinton told the WJC that he has made progress in the past year on the three "pillars" of U.S. policy in the region, including minimizing the risks for peace taken by Israeli officials. "I have tried to do that," he said. "The prime minister is fulfilling his commitment (to take risks for peace), and we are keeping ours -- our commitment to maintaining and enhancing the security of Israel is ironclad." U.S. policy, he said, also seeks "successful implementation" of the Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles signed at the White House last year. "Both sides," he said, "now have to begin to implement the agreement on the ground, and we are working hard to support that without interfering with it. Implementing the agreement on the ground is the only way to show the Israelis the agreement can enhance their security while 1roviding a more normal life of more self-government for their Palestinian neighbors." U.S. policy in the region is also focused on getting the Mideast negotiations "back on track," Clinton said, characterizing the effort to "help Syria and Israel make peace" as "the biggest challenge this year." He said his meeting with Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad last month in Geneva "was designed to help achieve that goal," adding that the Syrian leader's statement that Damascus wants peace with Israel broke "new ground." Syria, Clinton declared, must still "demonstrate that it wants a full and meaningful peace to achieve the confidence of the people of Israel to make such a peace possible." The president said he welcomed Syria's decision to provide exit visas to Jews who wish to leave the country, adding he understands the visa process "is now virtually completed." OTHER DEVELOPMENTS HOUSE BANKING COMMITTEE'S ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED MATERIAL RESTORED The Office of the Press Secretary on February 8 released the following statement by the Press Secretary: (BEGIN TEXT) President Clinton on February 4, restored the access of the House Banking Committee to classified material and ordered relevant federal agencies to declassify certain Iraq-related documents requested by the Committee. In a letter to Banking Committee Chairman Henry Gonzalez, the President said: "I am very pleased to tell you that in view of your October 28 letter and your pledge to protect the confidentiality of classified information provided by the Administration, we have decided, effective immediately, to restore fully your Committee's access to classified information. This action will resolve an unfortunate and long-standing difficulty that has severely interfered in the Committee's relations with the executive branch." Accordingly, the President has directed relevant agencies of the federal government to provide the Committee access to the classified information it has requested in connection with its investigation of BNL and pre-war policy toward Iraq. Consistent with past practice and policy, access will be subject to arrangements to protect intelligence sources and methods, as well as on-going law enforcement investigations. The President also ordered relevant federal agencies to declassify and disclose to the public Iraq-related documents requested by the Committee concerning the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), Cardoen, Matrix-Churchill, Gerald Bull and U.S. policy toward Iraq immediately preceding the Persian Gulf War. The President also indicated that agencies will review for declassification other specific documents identified by the Committee as necessary to carry out the purposes of its investigation. The Administration will declassify these documents to the maximum extent possible, excluding from public release only: (1) material that must remain classified; (2) material whose disclosure would compromise privacy rights; and (3) material that reveals executive branch deliberations. (END TEXT) NNNN .