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World - Middle East

World reacts to Mideast agreement

October 23, 1998
Web posted at: 9:35 p.m. EDT (0135 GMT)

(CNN) -- Here is a sampling of reaction to Friday's signing of an interim peace agreement by Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:


  • "This is a big step. I congratulate Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu for having had the courage to make the compromises necessary for peace.... I hope that this will lead to renewed efforts to conclude a comprehensive peace for the region as a whole." -- U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

  • "The implementation of the agreement that they reached will eliminate some of the most important obstacles and encourages us to hope that in the near future, the Israeli and Palestinian people will be able to engage fully in the task of consolidating and enjoying a peace obtained as a result of such hard efforts." -- Didier Opertti, president of the U.N. General Assembly and foreign minister of Uruguay.


  • "Resolution of the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has been one of our nation's foremost foreign policy goals. I applaud the progress that has been made in achieving this latest agreement." -- U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.


  • "Beyond the emotionalism and the obvious sense of relief on all sides, I think that there is a recognition that reality may intrude, that perhaps the steps ahead and the days ahead are going to be much more difficult than one expects." -- Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestinian parliament and former minister in Arafat's administration.

    Struggle for Peace
    . . . .


  • Wye River Memorandum


  • Mideast Timeline
  • The West Bank in Brief
  • Key Players


  • Middle East
  • Israel
  • Land-for-peace deal

  • Message board


  • "I think this is a very, very positive development.... I also think it demonstrates what can be accomplished when the United States takes an aggressive and hands-on approach to the peace process." -- former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker.

  • "The stakes in the Middle East are high and rising with each passing day. Both sides must move quickly to implement this agreement and begin serious bargaining over the final status questions to avoid an eruption of violence next May." -- U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California.

    Reuters contributed to this report.

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