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World - Middle East

Albright praises Barak, plans Mideast visit

Barak and Albright
Barak and Albright talk to the media

VIDEO
CNN's Judy Woodruff talks with Israeli Ambassador to U.S. about U.S.-Israeli relations under Barak (July 15)
Windows Media 28K 80K
 

July 16, 1999
Web posted at: 12:42 p.m. EDT (1642 GMT)

From staff and wire reports

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright emerged from a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on Friday to announce plans for a Middle East visit, declaring herself eager to deal with Israel's new leader.

"I am looking forward to going to the region some time in August, and I most of all look forward to working with the prime minister, who is dedicated to the Middle East peace process," Albright said.

Barak said he had reaffirmed Israel's commitment to abide by October's Wye River land-for-security agreement, and said Albright's visit would help in "shaping the overall strategy and the details of how to move forward."

Likely stops on Albright's agenda are Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Syria. Details of her schedule have not been announced.

"It is important that we take the time that is necessary and calibrate our role according to what is really called for," she said. "I will do what I believe is important in making the peace process work."

Their meeting took place after Barak talked Thursday with U.S. President Bill Clinton and spent a night spent at Camp David, the presidential retreat where President Jimmy Carter brokered a peace agreement between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978.

Clinton wants Barak to move quickly to implement the Wye accord, which requires Israel to turn over an additional 13.1 percent of Israeli-occupied West Bank land to Palestinian control in exchange for a stronger clampdown on terrorists by the Palestinians.

Barak is on a six-day U.S. tour, his first since assuming the office of prime minister. He will meet Defense Secretary William Cohen later Friday before flying to New York to meet Jewish-American leaders. He returns to Washington on Sunday for a White House dinner and more talks with Clinton on Monday.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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RELATED SITES:
Israel's Institutions of Government
PASSIA: Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs
Palestinian National Authority
The Middle East Network Information Center
Office of the Israeli Prime Minister
Knesset - The Israeli Parliament
The Egyptian Presidency
US Government
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