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Israel Joining A United Nations Regional Grouping

Statement By The Vice President On Israel Joining A United Nations Regional Grouping

Today Israel announced its acceptance of an offer to join the Western European and Others Grouping (WEOG) at the United Nations. This development effectively ends an injustice that for decades deprived Israel of its right to fully participate in the UN's decision making process. Until today, Israel -- a member of the United Nations since 1949 -- was the only country to be actively excluded from participating in the regional groupings of the United Nations.

I raised this issue with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan earlier this year, and later with the Government of Spain, which played an important role in building international support. I am proud to have led the Administration's effort to correct this inequity, which also involved intensive efforts by President Clinton, Secretary Albright, and Ambassador Holbrooke. I welcome this courageous and historic step taken by the membership of the WEOG and Israel.

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