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Albright Statement On Meeting Middle East Leaders

U.S. Department Of State

Office of the Spokesman (Paris, France) For Immediate Release October 2, 2000

Statement by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright On meeting with Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat Paris, France October 2, 2000

Secretary Albright: In view of the serious escalation of violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, President Clinton has asked me to invite Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat to meet with me on Wednesday.

The two leaders have agreed. France has agreed to welcome these conversations in Paris.

The purpose of our meetings is to find a way to end the violence, restore calm and ensure that there is no repeat of such an escalation. The President has already announced that the U.S. will chair a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian security officials for the purpose of fact-finding and to prevent a re- occurrence of the events of the past few days.

This meeting needs to take place as soon as conditions permit. Israelis and Palestinians have cooperated in the past to achieve historic agreements as well as practical cooperation on the ground. They must find a way again to end the current psychology of confrontation and begin to restore the psychology of peace-making. That is what we will be trying to achieve in these meetings. (###)

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