Barak Adviser Says No Peace Process Till Violence Ends
A close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Monday there could be no resumption of the Middle East peace process as long as violent unrest continued in the Palestinian territories.
Speaking on public radio, Danny Yatom said, "The contacts which are still being maintained with the Palestinians are aimed solely at reducing the violence and not at relaunching the peace process."
Yatom said that while Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said he wanted to continue peace negotiations "we do not, as long as there are 30 or 40 cases of firing on us every day."
Barak has declared a "time out" in the seven-year peace process, which has broken down since the September 28 outbreak of clashes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in which more than 200 people have been killed, 90 percent of them Palestinians.
Yatom was speaking from Chicago, where Barak was due to speak to Jewish organizations before giving a press conference.
The Israeli leader met Sunday with US President Bill Clinton, but there were no indications of any progress in ending the violence -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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