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Former President Clinton Calls for Peace on Visit to Israel

Former President Clinton Calls for Peace on Visit to Israel
Former President Clinton Calls for Peace on Visit to Israel
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A former American president who tried and failed to broker a final Middle East peace agreement is back in the region.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is visiting Israel to mark the 14th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. "In the last 14 years, not a single week has gone by that I did not think of Yitzhak Rabin and miss him terribly," he said.

Mr. Clinton was president when Mr. Rabin was assassinated by an Orthodox Jew who opposed his policy of handing parts of the biblical Land of Israel over to the Palestinians in exchange for peace.

The former U.S. president thinks about what might have been if Mr. Rabin had lived. "Nor has a single week gone by in which I have not reaffirmed my conviction that had he not lost his life on that terrible night, within three years we would have had a comprehensive agreement for peace in the Middle East," he said.

Five years after the assassination, Mr. Clinton made one last-ditch effort for a final peace agreement at the Camp David Summit near Washington in the year 2000. He brought then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak together with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for two weeks of intensive talks, but the summit failed. Two months later the Second Palestinian Uprising erupted and the peace process collapsed in a wave of violence.

But now,8 years after he left office, Mr. Clinton again urged Israelis and Palestinians to make peace, saying they cannot escape their common future. He said "divorce is not an option."

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