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Scoop Link: A Peace-Process Primer

The heady days of that first Israeli-Palestinian handshake on the White House lawn are ancient history, and seven years later the peace process that has consumed much of President Clinton's foreign policy focus now looks unlikely to be concluded on his watch.

Last year's election of Ehud Barak over Benjamin Netanyahu, who had always opposed the peace process and whose tenure saw it grind to a halt, revived optimism over the prospects for peace agreements between Israel and Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians.

But a year later, the Syrian track is all but dead (and with it chances of a formal deal with Lebanon, despite Israel's withdrawal of troops) and Barak looks hardly more likely than Netanyahu to conclude a final deal with the Palestinians

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