Middle East talks collapse

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The Independent Online

Talks to arrange a Middle East peace settlement collapsed on Tuesday, a White House spokesman said, and President Bill Clinton prepared to return to Washington to make the announcement.

Talks to arrange a Middle East peace settlement collapsed on Tuesday, a White House spokesman said, and President Bill Clinton prepared to return to Washington to make the announcement.

"The president has concluded that the two sides are not able to reach an agreement at this time," said spokesman Joe Lockhart.

It had become clear earlier in the day that no serious headway was in sight despite an offer by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to recognize some sort of Palestinian sovereignty in east Jerusalem.

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