Clinton Signs Anti-Terrorism Accord

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Clinton began two days of Middle East peace talks Monday by signing a joint declaration on terrorism with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. In finalizing an anti-terrorism accord begun at a March meeting in Egypt, President Clinton pledged $100 million in aid to help Israel to fight terrorists. Under the deal, the U.S. will provide Israel with equipment and technological assistance while also sharing intelligence resources and experts. It allows for the extradition of terrorists and forms a joint committee on counter-terrorism. Peace in the region will not come by "turning the other cheek," said Clinton, but by sending a forceful messages to both terrorists and those who have chosen the road to peace: "We will not let our anger turn ourselves away from peace. It is the only way to give those who have chosen peace confidence that they have made the right choice." Peres thanked Clinton for the support the U.S. has given Israel and said he hoped today's pact will conclude "a history of bloodshed." The agreement was signed just one day before a scheduled White House visit from Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Clinton said he would commend Arafat for last week's vote by the Palestine National Council to remove language in its charter that calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. Peres also had praise for the PLO for its anti-terrorist efforts: "We have to encourage the winds of peace to retract the shadows of danger."