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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release July 5, 2000


The President's announcement today of a summit meeting between the Israelis and the Palestinians next week at Camp David is an important and necessary step on the long and difficult path to a true and lasting peace in the Middle East.

At the summit, Prime Minister Barak, Chairman Arafat, and their negotiating teams will be dealing with the most complex and sensitive issues that lay at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The challenges ahead for both of these political leaders remain substantial, but it is critical for all of us to seize this historic opportunity.

I am proud of America's contribution to the Middle East peace process and to making this summit possible. In the last eight years, the United States has played a critical role in facilitating negotiations between the parties without dictating terms or imposing deadlines. As both the Israelis and Palestinians have agreed, true security can only be achieved through a just and lasting peace based on mutual consent.

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