|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Interview on NBC-TV
Jerusalem, September 12, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman in Jerusalem
U.S. Department of State
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, are there any small steps even that can now be taken to try to move back towards peace talks?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Andrea, as I said when I got here, that there is a crisis of confidence. That is absolutely true, and what we have been able to accomplish here are small steps when large steps are needed, but the small steps are that week after next, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat are going to send senior advisors to Washington to meet with us, to talk about how we can get the process back on track, and the week after that, I have invited and I will host Foreign Minister David Levy and Abu Mazen, the Palestinian Deputy, in talks in New York, in order to be able to carry on.
QUESTION: What do both sides have to do now to get this process back on track?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think, it is clear to me Andrea, that the problem of terror is one that is underlying the whole problem and makes discussion very difficult and it is clearly the sine qua non is to try to deal with the terror problem here, but at the same time, it's important to create a climate that allows for the confidence to be rebuilt, which is why I called for time-out on acts that are regarded by each side as provocative.
QUESTION: But what do you want Israel to do?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, we have talked about, generally, that some of the unilateral steps that Israel has taken have been viewed as the kind that do not promote a climate to help revive confidence. I'm not going to say specifically. I think that the i ssue here is there needs to be a time-out from the kinds of activities that provide, that make people think of the zero-sum game. It has to end. They have to see again that both Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu need to see each other as necessary partn ers.
QUESTION: So Israel, as you've said in your speeches here, has to stop building settlements and doing other things that humiliate the Palestinians.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I have not said it that specifically. What we have said is that it's important for both sides to try to figure out how to avoid taking zero-sum steps, and steps that practically are the kind that should be discussed in the final statu s talks, that are not the kind that preempt the final status discussion.
QUESTION: What would you like Arafat to do?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, Arafat has to do everything a hundred percent effort on limiting and working to under... to take apart the infrastructure of Hamas, a terrorist organization.
QUESTION: You've just met with Arafat for a second time. Do you trust that he's now willing to do that?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think that he wants to do a job that shows a hundred percent effort. There is a process that we have put into place. I will believe that it works when we see some results. But I think we have moved forward in creating a useful proce ss in order to provide a mechanism for getting rid of the infrastructure of Hamas. But we have to see concrete results.
QUESTION: Israel has already publicly rejected your public call here for them to stop taking steps that destroy confidence.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I have learned in my new life not always to take the first answer.
QUESTION: And what will you be bringing to President Asad when you go to Damascus today? Any hopes there?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well that process has really been in suspended animation and we want to see if there's any way to try to bring those discussion -- some way of reviving them. But again, I go there as a realist and we will see what will come out of the re. And Andrea, I really think that in terms of how often I will come here, I think, as I said, they're small steps, and big steps need to be taken and I want to make -- I will come here when there are big decisions made. I'm not going to come here to tread water.
[End of Document]
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