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Clinton Talks About Peace Summit

August 14, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ President Clinton said Sunday that for Israelis and Palestinians alike the inconclusive Camp David peace summit was like having a tooth drilled without anesthesia.

Clinton, for the most part, put partisan politics aside during a speech to members of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, a Jewish lobbying organization. The president is in Los Angeles for the Democratic National Convention, where he’s a featured speaker Monday night.

He said he understood why both sides left the most difficult issues for last in their gradual pursuit of peace.

``It’s kind of like going to the dentist without anybody to deaden your gums,″ Clinton said.

He added that he remains disappointed by the failure to get a peace deal during last month’s round-the-clock negotiations.

``I don’t want to sugarcoat it. I wanted an agreement and we didn’t get one, but I can tell you we made a lot of progress,″ he said.

One major stumbling block was the fate of Jerusalem, as Clinton acknowledged to the crowd at an outdoor party held at a Hollywood movie lot.

``It is a holy city, but it has caused a hellish lot of problems,″ Clinton said.

He promised to keep working at it through the remaining six months of his term.

``In the meantime we will continue to stand with Israel, as we have throughout my tenure,″ Clinton said to loud applause.

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