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Clinton Urges Support for Powell

April 28, 2002

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McALLEN, Texas (AP) _ Former President Bill Clinton urged support for Secretary of State Colin Powell’s peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East during an appearance Saturday night.

``I think some of the negative publicity about Colin Powell’s trip has been wrong,″ Clinton told reporters at a fund-raiser for Hispanic college students attended by about 400 people.

``No matter how long they fight or how many people die, in the end if there’s going to be peace there has to be security and normal relations with neighbors,″ Clinton said. ``There has to be justice and economic opportunities for the Palestinians.″

Powell’s recent trip to the Mideast did little to stop the violence. The State Department has announced that Powell will hold a new round of talks next week with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and top officials of the European Union.

The leaders are expected to meet in Washington to discuss how to get Mideast peacemaking back on track.

President Bush recently criticized Clinton, saying his failed 2000 Mideast summit had resulted in a ``significant intefadeh.″ Clinton has declined to comment on the criticism.

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