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U.S. Leaders Mourn Leah Rabin

November 12, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. leaders mourned Leah Rabin, widow of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, whose death cost the Middle East an advocate of peace, President Clinton said Sunday.

The president said in a statement that he and Hillary Rodham Clinton ``have lost a dear friend, and the Middle East has lost a friend of peace. But the work to which she and Yitzhak dedicated their lives must and will continue.″

Rabin died Sunday in Tel Aviv, Israel, of cancer at age 72.

``Five years ago, when her beloved husband was killed by an assassin’s bullet, the proud and graceful presence of Leah Rabin wiped away the tears of the world,″ Vice President Gore said in a statement.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also expressed a sense of personal loss as well as an appreciation for Leah Rabin’s influence on Israel’s willingness to seek peace with its Arab neighbors.

``Leah Rabin was a woman of great passion, honesty, and courage,″ Albright said. ``Throughout her life, she remained utterly devoted to her husband, Yitzhak, and her family, and to the causes that she believed in.″

``Leah always had the courage to speak her mind on issues of importance, and to fight on behalf of the nation, people, and values she cherished,″ Albright said. ``She loved her country and devoted herself to the well-being of Israel throughout her life.

Albright said Rabin was a true supporter of an enduring Arab-Israeli peace.

``She always communicated a deep commitment to achieving a just and lasting peace throughout the Middle East, and continued to work for peace after the assassination of her husband five years ago,″ Albright said.

``While we mourn the passing of Leah Rabin, we also join the citizens of Israel in celebrating her life and saluting her achievements,″ she said. ``Her words and accomplishments will continue to bless the cause of peace and the nation of Israel in the years to come.″

Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated on Nov. 4, 1995, in Tel Aviv by an ultra-nationalist Israeli citizen.

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