Cheney Criticizes Clinton\'s Middle East Diplomacy
Vice president-elect Dick Cheney on Sunday criticized President Bill Clinton's diplomacy in the Middle East in the last year and said President-elect George W. Bush would try to "regenerate" the peace process there.
"There are concerns that the way the Clinton administration operated at least in the year or so in the Middle East have made it more difficult to reach a settlement," Cheney said, speaking on ABC's This Week.
"Taking Jerusalem and putting it in the center of the table and sort of making it the be-all and end-all of those negotiations at Camp David last July I don't think worked," Cheney said.
The Israeli government of Ehud Barak has collapsed partly as a result "of the pressures generated by the way those negotiations were handled or mishandled," Cheney said.
"The level of violence on the West Bank between the Palestinians and the Israelis now has become a very significant problem and the whole peace process has broken down. Hopefully we'll be able to regenerate that."
The vice president-elect backpedaled, however, on Bush's statement during the campaign that as soon as he took office he would begin the process of moving the US ambassador to Jerusalem.
"The operative word is process," Cheney said. "I would look at it within the overall process of when you can get a peace settlement of some kind negotiated" -- WASHINGTON (AFP)
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