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Clinton, Barak Speak by Telephone

July 5, 1999

HAZARD, Ky. (AP) _ President Clinton spoke briefly Monday with Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak.

Barak, scheduled to take office this week, is expected to visit Washington within a few weeks. The two leaders discussed the possibility of a visit, though no date was set.

Clinton followed the 12-minute telephone conversation with a call to his national security adviser, Sandy Berger.

Barak has just completed forming a coalition government and is to be sworn in Tuesday.

Last week, Clinton ruffled Israeli leaders when he told a news conference that Palestinian refugees should be free to live ``wherever they like.″

Barak took that as a sign of support for the Palestinians’ long-standing demand to reclaim homes in Israel. But American officials quickly assured the Israelis that U.S. neutrality on the matter had not changed.

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