March 30, 1998 in Nation/World

Albright Reassures U.S. Jewish Leaders

Compiled From Wire Services

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told a coalition of American Jewish leaders that Israel must realize the United States is frustrated with the stalled peace process but reaffirmed the Clinton administration is “very determined” to break the stalemate.

Albright made the observations in a conference call to more than 50 members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Malcolm Hoenlein, one of the participants, disputed reports in Israel on Sunday that Albright used the conference call to urge members to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader has resisted repeated pleas by the Clinton administration for a substantial withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank as a means of ending the yearlong peace deadlock.

Hoenlein, executive vice president of the umbrella group, said Albright noted that ending U.S. sponsorship of the peace efforts remains a possible option in light of the stalemate but added that the Americans instead are pushing ideas for bridging the gap between Israel and the Palestinians.

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