WASHINGTON, July 25 -- Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said Monday he found Jordan's King Hussein to be 'most noble, reasonable, unique personality even when we were engaged in conflict' at a White House dinner in honor of both leaders. Rabin heaped praise on the Arab monarch in his toast to the 'memorable' and 'exciting' events of the day when both signed an agreement leading to the normalization of relations between their two countries.
The accord, Rabin said, 'opens a new chapter between Jordan and Israel' and will lead to a breaking down of the 'psychological walls' between their two peoples. President Clinton, who hosted both the signing ceremony and the dinner party, told the gathering of 120 guests: 'Today we saw history in the making.' The Israelis and Jordanians were brought together 'in the common cause of peace,' Clinton said, adding the quest for peace 'knows no borders.' Hussein said reconciliation with Israel after 46 years of hostilities represented the 'dawn of a new era in our region.' 'None of this would have been possible without your help,' Hussein told Clinton. The guests included government officials and members of Congress as well as diplomats involved in the Middle East. Both Hussein and Rabin will appear, in an unprecedented joint session, in front of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. In the late afternoon, they will hold a three-way news conference from the White House with Clinton. Tuesday evening, Secretary of State Warren Christopher will host a reception for the visiting dignitaries.