Albright: Israel, Palestinians to Send Negotiators to US once Violence Ends
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Friday that Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to send negotiators here in a bid to restart the peace process once deadly clashes in the region end.
Albright said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had accepted "in principle" an invitation from President Bill Clinton to send their officials to Washington after the violence stops.
"When calm is restored, the president has invited the negotiators for both sides to come to Washington to see about resuming the peace talks," Albright told the Fox News Channel.
Asked whether Arafat and Barak had accepted the offer, Albright replied: "In principle, yes. But what we're waiting for is for calm to be restored.
"It's very difficult to carry out peace negotiations when violence is taking place in the region," she said.
Albright returned to Washington late Thursday after marathon talks between Arafat and Barak in Paris on Wednesday and then meetings in Egypt between Arafat and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
She said that while her talks had not produced a formal agreement on ending the violence which has thus far claimed 81 lives since it began last week, she expected that Arafat and Barak would make good on their pledges to "give orders to their people to get control over the violence."
"I would expect both the parties to live up to their obligations that they made to me and to each other on this and we will obviously watch this very closely," Albright told ABC's "Good Morning America" program.
But, she said, the real aim of her and Clinton's efforts was to restart the peace talks which have been stalled since the failure of the Camp David summit in July.
"We need to figure out how to get over this and to determine what has happened, and look towards the future (and) try to get back to the peace plan," Albright said on NBC's "Today Show."
"The bottom line here is that is the only way that this will be solved is if we're able to deal with the peace process." - WASHINGTON (AFP)
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