Monitor

All the News of the World International comment on the Israeli Prime Minister's trip to Washington
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The Independent Culture
AMERICAN WILLINGNESS to contribute to the peace process in the framework of an "enhanced US-Israeli relationship" is welcome. At the same time, a Clinton administration eager to cap its legacy with a major Middle East peace-brokering task needs to look past the euphoria and prepare for tough negotiations.

There will be moments of crisis. Only if all the parties involved understand this will the positive momentum and expectations generated by Barak's US visit be possibly translated into real, implementable peace agreements.

Jerusalem Post, Israel

WITH OR without American interference, it is a big question whether Mr Barak can deliver. As a candidate in the last election, he laid down some rather significant markers, "red lines" he would not cross as prime minister: no evacuation of Israeli settlers, no return to Israel's pre- 1967 borders, no divided Jerusalem, and no Arab militarization east of the Jordan River. That's not going to be easy to sell to the Arabs. Washington Times, US

SINCE THE inception of the peace process, no peace-seeking prime minister has had such a rare opportunity to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The combination of a solid mandate at home with ripe regional conditions, and now also the renewed support of American and international leaders, creates a diplomatic and security base that must not be wasted.

Al Haaretz, Israel

BARAK'S POLITICAL "love-in" with Washington is a good sign in one sense: it seems to confirm the new prime minister's willingness to discard the venal rhetoric of his predecessor and get on with the business of reaching a comprehensive peace with his Arab neighbours. But Barak's instant chemistry with Clinton hardly makes for a guarantee that Lebanon's interests will be adequately addressed. At present, our government has yet to take any of the steps that it must if the liberation of south Lebanon is ever to be seen in Washington as anything more than a side issue to talks between Israel and Syria.

The Daily Star, Lebanon

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