Clinton, Peres sign counter-terrorism accord
April 30, 1996
Web posted at: 5:15 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States will supply Israel with $100 million in equipment, training and aid under a counter-terrorism accord signed Tuesday at the White House by President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
The accord, an offshoot of the counter-terrorism summit of world leaders last month at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, formalizes U.S. support for Israel's battle against guerrilla attacks.
Included in the $100 million package are bomb and mine detection equipment; training assistance to help Israel to fight terrorism; and shared intelligence to fight terrorist threats within Israel.
Half of the money already has been appropriated by Congress for spending this year.
"I feel myself very lucky to see a person like [Clinton] standing ahead and trying to lead the whole world to peace ... for everybody."
-- Shimon Peres
"For the past three years Israel and the United States have worked hand in hand to advance the peace process in the Middle East," Clinton said after the signing ceremony. He said the goal of the new accord is to bring terrorists to justice.
In his remarks, Peres had nothing but praise for Clinton, saying he "has this great capacity to inspire the whole free world with his ideas, determination, with his capacity to distinguish what is right and what is wrong, what is immediate and what is long range." (213K AIFF sound or 213K WAV sound)
Peres said, "I feel myself very lucky to see a person like him standing ahead and trying to lead the whole world to peace ... for everybody."
The accord arose from talks that Secretary of State Warren Christopher and CIA Director John Deutch held with their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem after Clinton's Mideast visit last month.
"It will put in place steps that we can take together with the government of Israel to combat terrorism and enhance the security of citizens in Israel, but also the United States," White House spokesman Mike McCurry said.
The White House denied Tuesday that the accord, signed in Clinton's second meeting with Peres in three months, showed that Clinton is openly campaigning for Peres' re-election.
"It has nothing to do in our view with Israeli politics," McCurry said.
Clinton and Peres attended a working lunch Tuesday afternoon to discuss ways to move ahead the Middle East peace process in the wake of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.
Peres was to meet Palestinian President Yasser Arafat later Tuesday, and Arafat is scheduled to meet Clinton in the Oval Office Wednesday morning -- the first time he will have been received in Washington as a national leader in his own right.
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- Blasts, then silence: Cease-fire begins - April 26, 1996
- Civilians greet truce with skepticism - April 26, 1996
- Facts on the 16-day war between Israel and Hezbollah - April 26, 1996
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