Clinton, Barak and Arafat meet briefly in Rabat
July 25, 1999
RABAT, Morocco (CNN) -- U.S. President Bill Clinton met for about five minutes Sunday with Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority, and Ehud Barak, prime minister of Israel.
The three were in Rabat for the funeral of Moroccan King Hassan II, who died Friday. The unplanned meeting focused on Mideast peace efforts.
A White House official would only describe the meeting as "animated."
Barak also met for a few minutes with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the first meeting between leaders of the two countries.
Arafat and Barak were to meet at the Erez border crossing between Gaza and Israel on Saturday, but the meeting was postponed until Tuesday because of Hassan's death.
A scheduled meeting between Barak and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was also postponed over the weekend so the leaders could attend the funeral.
Barak, eager to pursue peace talks with Syria, had hoped the gathering of world leaders for Hassan's funeral would offer him a chance to meet with Syrian President Hafez Assad as well. Assad, however, opted to remain in Damascus.
Arab-Israeli talks delayed for Moroccan king's funeral
Israel's Institutions of Government
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