Arafat Hopes for Return to Negotiations before Clinton Leaves Office
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said on Thursday he hoped for a resumption of peace negotiations with Israel before US President Bill Clinton leaves office in January.
Asked after meeting with US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross if there was a chance of going back to the negotiating table before January, he told reporters: "We are hoping so.
"We have not to forget that President Clinton is insisting to achieve something before his departure," Arafat said in English after 90 minutes of talks with Ross.
Ross vowed that the United States would do all it could to restore the peace process, left in tatters by seven weeks of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has claimed the lives of more than 230 people.
"One thing is very clear. We have got to change the environment if we are to be able to achieve what everybody wants," Ross told journalists after the meeting.
"There is no military solution, only a political solution. We will do everything we can to try to improve the environment and everything to try to get back to the objectives, not only peacemaking but achieving peace," he added.
"There is too much suffering, too many victims, too many casualties, too much pain," he added -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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