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U.S., Mideast leaders react to Rabin's death

November 5, 1995
Web posted at: 9:50 p.m. EST (0250 GMT)

(CNN) -- The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Saturday drew expressions of sadness and shock around the world.

Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres said:



Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, President Clinton said:


Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat told reporters in Gaza:


Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition Likud party:

Israeli Education Minister Amnon Rubinstein, who attended the peace rally with Rabin and was at the hospital when he died:


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter:


King Hussein of Jordan


In a written statement, Secretary of State Warren Christopher said he was "deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news" of Rabin's death.


Former U.S. President George Bush:


Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, issued the following statement from Sioux Falls, South Dakota:

Kennedy Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., issued the following statement from Washington:

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, interviewed on CNN from Hong Kong, said:


Rabin was a "very gentle man, actually, once you got to know him, but basically rather shy...
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"He came to his convictions in a painful way but once he had reached them, he was prepared to walk a very lonely road. I saw him last two weeks ago, and he was actually quite optimistic. He also knew it would be a very a bitter period with great vilification...
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"What he was really doing was to work out a grammar of coexistence of two suffering people. ...

"Rabin was a great man ... but if what he did is to have any meaning, it cannot depend on him alone."

British Prime Minister John Major said:


"He gave his life for peace. His best memorial would lie in achieving it. We would wish his work to go on and I hope it will. ..."

"He was a personal friend who I much admired."

"I think that what Mr. Rabin would have wanted would be for this to be given some momentum to the peace process in the future and I very much hope that will happen."

Russian President Boris Yeltsin, hospitalized in Moscow, said through a spokesman:

"I learned of the death with deep sorrow. ...

"The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was an attempt to torpedo the movement towards peace and to again plunge the (Middle) East into suffering and blood. ...

"I am convinced that the cause for which Rabin sacrificed his entire life will continue."

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said:

"This cowardly murder struck a man who wanted to achieve peace in the Middle East through great courage and the full commitment of his personality. ...

"I know from the countless talks I had in the past few months with Yitzhak Rabin that he recognized the danger for his life, but it was important for him to use every chance to finally create peace for people in a region so marked by sorrow. ...

"Germans mourn along with his wife, his family, with the Israeli people and all peace-loving people in the world."

French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac said:


"France, more than ever, itself and in the heart of the European Union, is at the side of all those -- in Israel, in the region, Palestinians, nearby states -- who want peace and are working for it to triumph over war and evil. ...

"I knew Yitzhak Rabin well. I knew the man of combat who contributed so much to give Israel its security. I knew the man of peace, the visionary statesman who, with courage and lucidity, chose dialogue and reconciliation between the peoples of the region."

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan said in a statement:

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless and violent death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. We pray that the Prime Minister's efforts for peace will be continued and that the people of Israel will stand united in this time of tragedy. Our deepest sympathies go to his wife Leah and his family."


Reverend Jessie Jackson addressing the congregation of the Lilydale First Baptist Church:

"The hatred must be stopped. And I hope that we would seize this moment as being a case of Ghandi assassinated, Dr. King being assassinated, John Kennedy being assassinated to see that there must be continuous efforts to stop the hatred." (213K AIFF sound or 213K WAV sound)


Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, New York said:

"For me this transcends politics. And it's up to every Jew whether you're on the right or the left to dig deep into his or her soul and to find the love in the mourning of the Prime Minister that will stamp out the deep hatred that has engulfed Israeli society." (178K AIFF sound or 178K WAV sound)


Cardinal John O'Connor, Archbishop of New York said Sunday:

"I was privy to Prime Minister Rabin's thinking and therefore believe he died in a truly noble cause and its my view that Mr. Peres will continue to advance that cause as acting Prime Minister." (93K AIFF sound or 93K WAV sound)


Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker said:

"I just think that it is a terrible, terrible tragedy for a man who was a wonderful leader of the world and friend to a lot of us." (113K AIFF sound or 113K WAV sound)


Russian Foreign Minister Andre Kozyrev said:

"We want peace process to go on. Inspite of the irreparable loss of Mr. Rabin. He (Shimon Peres) will have full support from Russia and inside Israel they will now understand more how important those two figures were." (133K AIFF sound or 133K WAV sound)


Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin said:

"We are all shocked by the death of this illustrious statesman ho did so much to diffuse the situation in the middle-east." (70K AIFF sound or 70K WAV sound)

Assassination coverage:


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