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Conflict in the Middle East: Top Israeli Negotiator En Route to U.S. for Proposal Clarification; Arafat Consulting With Arab AlliesAired January 4, 2001 - 1:19 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Sixteen days in office left for President Bill Clinton, and he continues to pace with his efforts to broker a peace deal between the parties in the Middle East.
Let's check on the latest with Andrea Koppel, our correspondent at the State Department.
Andrea, what's new?
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Lou, what's new is that Gilead Sher, the top Israeli negotiator, is due to arrive here in Washington shortly, after which he'll come here to the State Department where he'll have meetings with members of President Clinton's Middle East peace team.
The purpose, from the Israeli perspective, what they need to hear from the Americans, is what Yasser Arafat told President Clinton earlier this week when he was here in Washington as to his acceptance of this framework of the U.S. peace plan. Mr. Arafat told President Clinton that he accepted the deal with reservations. The Israelis want to hear details and specifics as to what exactly those reservations were.
In addition, administration officials say they're also hoping, Lou, to work out and to try to figure out how they can end the violence of the last several months in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Today it was quiet, but they say that has been the exception more than the rule over the last several months.
And a key, key element to trying to not only negotiate a peace deal but to make it stick will be to end the violence there. There is talk, perhaps, of some sort of trilateral, that is Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. meeting, in Cairo, perhaps this weekend, to talk about security.
So two key issues on the agenda today, one being how to end the violence, the other being to get further clarification on Yasser Arafat's reservations, but his acceptance of this U.S. peace plan. They'll be doing a lot of talking today, and it perhaps could run the rest of the week -- Lou.
WATERS: All right, Andrea, and we'll check back. Andrea Koppel at the State Department. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
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