Clinton: Israel, Palestinians Need Summit

Published June 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

US President Bill Clinton said Wednesday that Israel and the Palestinians needed a summit to resolve key issues but he had yet to determine whether the time was right to invite them to Washington, reported AFP. 

"I don't believe they can resolve the final issues without the leaders coming together," Clinton told a White House press conference. 

"I do not believe that they can resolve the final most difficult issues without having the leaders get together in some isolated setting and make the last tough decisions, or decide not to make them, as the case may be," he added. 

The president insisted, however, that he would prefer a summit sooner, rather than later. 

"I think that with some foreign policy problems, the answer is to kick the can down the road and wait for them to get better, and hope time takes care of them," he said. 

"Some have to be decided sooner or later and sooner is better than later. My own instinct is that the cluster of problems here would be better off being resolved sooner rather than later." 

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright left the region on Thursday after failing to bridge yawning gaps between Israel and the Palestinians. 

She met the leaders of both sides as part of her efforts to arrange a summit with President Bill Clinton, reported Reuters. 

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak told Albright the only way to secure progress ahead of a mid-September deadline for a final peace accord with the Palestinians was through a summit meeting with Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and Clinton. 

However, Arafat rejected a US suggestion for a mid-July three-way summit, said Reuters - Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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