[EXCERPT] DoD News Briefing Thursday, April 3, 1997 - 8 a.m. (EST)

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen welcomes
Minister of Defense Yitzhak Mordechai,
of the State of Israel, to the Pentagon.]

Secretary Cohen: I'm pleased to welcome Yitzhak Mordechai back to the
Pentagon. During our meeting this morning we're going to discuss a number
of areas involving strategic cooperation. These will include the Arrow
Anti-Theater Ballistic Missile program and the high energy laser designed to
defend against the Katyusha rockets. We're also going to discuss increased
U.S. support for programs that help Israel to combat terrorism. 

These and other areas of cooperation between our countries are part of the
United States effort to help Israel preserve its qualitative defensive edge.
The qualitative edge is one pillar of Israel's security. The other pillar of
Israel's security is continued progress on the road to a comprehensive
peace agreement. I look forward to working with Minister Mordechai
toward our shared goals of keeping Israel strong and secure in a Middle
East that is peaceful and stable. Mr. Minister. 

Minister Mordechai: Dear Mr. Secretary, It is my honor to be here this
morning. I am coming here to tell everybody, especially to you, Mr.
Secretary, that you have a friendly country in the Middle East. A country
that's committed to move forward with the peace process. At the same
time, we worrying about our securities, and to do our level best to continue
to have an ability to fight against terrorism and to be able to defend the
Israeli state. And we know that here in this state, we have very close and
friendly country to help Israel to continue to maintain the defense of

I would like to thank you, Mr. Secretary, for inviting me, and to thank you
on behalf of all my country, for everything the United States is doing to
encourage the peace process, and at the same time to give us the ability to
be strong enough to look forward at how we arrive to the peacetime.
Thank you very much.