|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Middle East Peace Summit: News Blackout Broken by Israeli Announcement of Suspension of China Arms DealAired July 12, 2000 - 2:12 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: It's day two of the Mideast peace summit at Camp David and President Clinton is hosting the crucial talks on a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Both sides remain far apart on key issues and face a self-imposed mid- September deadline.
An update now, here's CNN's White House correspondent Kelly Wallace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The leaders, seen here strolling through the woods Tuesday, are back at the negotiating table.
The White House says there is a good atmosphere at the talks.
JOE LOCKHART, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There is a certain informality on the Camp David site that I think is adding some value to these discussions.
WALLACE: On this second day of the summit, President Clinton meets separately with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak; a meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, three-way talks and discussions with negotiating teams are also possible.
The issues to resolve are the most difficult, such as the future of Jerusalem. Palestinians want to make East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state. Israel wants to be sure that any deal means the conflict is over and that Israel's security is guaranteed.
A news blackout is still imposed to try to keep any options being discussed behind closed doors.
The White House admits the tough work lies ahead.
LOCKHART: So to the extent that we went into this knowing it would be a struggle, we have not been disappointed by that. This is a very difficult process.
WALLACE: One additional development, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is apparently calling for a meeting of his leaders at the presidential retreat at Camp David. It is not clear if such a meeting will take place. It is also not clear what this call for such a meeting indicates about what is happening or not happening behind closed doors.
Kelly Wallace, CNN, reporting live from Thurmont, Maryland.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Israel today announced it is suspending the sale of airborne radar systems to China. Washington has been pressuring Israel to scrap this controversial deal.
Here's CNN's Jerrold Kessel on that.
JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Though a cloak of secrecy was enveloping the Mideast summit, Israel was keen to go public with one piece of information, its canceling of a controversial arms sale deal with China.
GADI BALTIANSKY, BARAK SPOKESMAN: We informed the U.S. and China that we are not going to continue with the Phalcon deal.
KESSEL: This, the offending weapons system, in the eyes of the U.S., the Israeli-built Phalcon, a sophisticated $250 million airborne warning and control system, for the sale to China, installed on a Russian Illusion 76.
The deal had angered the U.S. Congress which saw it as possibly endangering U.S. forces in any potential conflict in the Pacific. They was across-the-board insistence that Israel scrap the deal, and even hints that aid to Israel could suffer.
BALTIANSKY: Obviously, we're aware of the American concerns and interests.
KESSEL: China called on Washington not to interfere. Israeli officials, as part of their burgeoning defense relationship with China, had been hoping to handle the dilemma by asking the U.S. to accept that the signed contract for one Phalcon system go through, provided Israel suspend the future sale of several more systems, in which the Chinese were interested.
But with Israel now looking to the president to help push a peace with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Barak has bitten the bullet.
(on camera): If the summit succeeds it's expected that President Clinton will ask Congress to underwrite an agreement with billions of dollars. Now with the Phalcon row out of the way, it's hoped on all sides that at least one obstacle to pushing forward on peace has been removed.
Jerrold Kessel, CNN, near Camp David, Maryland.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.