On the Occasion of the Inauguration of the Bridging the Rift Foundation
13 November 1999
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Whenever I hear sincere statements being made to the effect that we must build a peace for future generations, I think to myself that we ought to build peace now, for ourselves and for our times, if we want to have a future. The Foundation that you are launching today, and which Rania and I are delighted to join you in inaugurating, is a true and practical example of how this can best be done. It exemplifies the bridging of rifts, the harmonising of wills, and the joining together in the spirit of partnership, peace and prosperity.
I am very impressed with what you are about to embark upon with the pursuit of knowledge through cooperation across the rift. The return on your investment will not necessarily be measured in dollars but rather in terms of human relations, academic excellence and a rewarding application of knowledge. It will contribute to solidifying a framework of peaceful cooperation between neighbours intent on utilising resources in the most efficient manner.
Your presence with us today is yet another reminder of the positive and instrumental role that the United States has played over the years in bridging rifts and in helping to sustain what was so carefully crafted by men of vision, men like King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin. Both leaders believed in a warm peace between Jordan and Israel, a peace that would be underpinned by cooperation in the fields of agriculture, energy, water and education. Such cooperation can only be sustained through the activities of non-governmental groups and organisations, like the Bridging the Rift Foundation, which can, through the distinguished members of its board and the talented expertise of those who will structure the academic programs and projects, build a model for cooperation in areas of importance to both our countries. I hope that you will be successful in attaining these goals, and on my part, promise to offer all possible help for your endeavours.
Before I turn to Mrs Clinton and ask her to say few words on this occasion, let me express my appreciation for the hard work carried out by all those who made this event possible today. I wish you all the best and God bless.