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Middle East: Reaction To Clinton Win Mixed


Prague, 6 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - U.S. President Bill Clinton's re-election is getting a largely positive response in the Middle East, where the United States wields significant power and influence.

Egypt, a long-time, U.S. ally in the region, sent a letter of congratulations to Clinton on the win. Egypt's Foreign Minister Amr Mussa says Egypt hopes co-operation with the United States will increase and become more intimate so a just and equitable peace can be reached in the Middle East.

Jordan also welcomes Clinton's victory. Information Minister Marwan Muasher says Jordan believes Clinton was instrumental in pushing the peace process forward and his re-election opens the door for an even more active role for Clinton in the Mid-East peace process.

Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat congratulated Clinton on the win, saying he hopes Clinton will use his mandate to push Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get the peace process back on track.

But in Iraq, the election was barely noticed. Iraqi state-run radio did not mention Clinton's re-election in its news updates. That was in contrast to 1992 when Iraqis celebrated the defeat of George Bush.

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