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Breaking News

Middle East Peace Summit: Barak Leaving Camp David

Aired July 19, 2000 - 6:30 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, some breaking news on this Wednesday morning on the Middle East peace talk front.

DEBORAH MARCHINI, CNN ANCHOR: And we get to Linda Stouffer for that -- Linda.

LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: A story just into CNN, according to Israeli sources, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is preparing to leave the Mideast talks, quote, "without an agreement." The Israelis say that after serious discussions they discovered that the other side didn't act like real partners for peace.

We want to get the very latest on this story, so we go straight to Andrea Koppel, she has a very latest this morning.

Andrea, good morning.

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good more, Linda.

It is just after dawn here in Camp David, and as you just said, we are hearing the latest news that now, according to a senior Israeli source close to the prime minister of Israel, Mr. Barak is prepared to leave this evening without an agreement, and we're told that's because: "Serious discussions with our counterparts didn't -- they didn't behave like real partners for peace." This according to a senior Israeli source close to Prime Minister Ehud Barak who is still at Camp David.

This is clearly the end game, Linda. We've been hearing now for the last couple of days rumors of one side or the other preparing to pack their bags and walk out, but we do know that now President Clinton has decided to delay his departure for an economic summit in Japan until midnight Thursday morning, midnight this morning. In other words, in 18 hours from now.

So talks are continuing today. No word as to what the actual issues are that are causing Prime Minister Barak to throw down the gauntlet, but clearly there is a lot of tension going on inside the presidential retreat -- Linda.

STOUFFER: Andrea, you mentioned that in recent days you've heard about one side or the other threatening to pack their bags and leave. Any reason to believe that this time the Israeli prime minister is not serious about this? KOPPEL: That he is not serious about this?

STOUFFER: About actually leaving?

KOPPEL: There is no way to know for sure, Linda, both sides -- for both the Israelis and the Palestinians, these three core issues, the future of Jerusalem, return of Palestinian refugees, and the borders of a future Palestinian state are incredibly emotional. These are men who have been working -- and women for that matter -- who have been negotiating literally around the clock. They are running on very little sleep. They've been trying to get a deal on this for many, many years.

And so you have people who are going to be emotional and who are going to say things. Whether or not they mean it, we'll have to see. But, at this point, we know that they are clearly, extremely frustrated, both the Israelis right now, and earlier the Palestinians. And we're most likely to see things go back and forth between people threatening to leave and people saying, as President Clinton did, that he was going to postpone his trip and stay here to continue negotiations -- Linda.

STOUFFER: Andrea Koppel, with the latest out of the Camp David peace talks, thank you very much.

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