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From sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu Sat Jun 2 14:37:29 2001
From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics) <sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu>
Subject: Mandela: We support the Palestinian Struggle
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 14:35:49 -0400

Mandela: U.S. not impartial peacemaker in Mideast

Reuters, 1 June 2001

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African President Nelson Mandela said on Friday the United States was not an impartial peacemaker in the Middle East and a multi-national initiative was needed to end the violence.

Mandela, speaking at a news conference after talks with French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, said the United States should join Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Britain and France to mediate a settlement.

It is completely wrong that the United States must be the mediator in this conflict. Everybody knows the United States is a friend of Israel, he said.

Mandela was flanked by the French premier, who is on a two-day official visit to South Africa as part of French efforts to extend its influence beyond its former colonies, mainly in West Africa.

He said the five countries together stood a stronger chance of negotiating peace in the violence-torn region.

Those five together should now negotiate a settlement. One advantage is that if there is a settlement, it is guaranteed it will have universal support.

Whereas if a settlement is brought about by one country, even if it is a superpower, there is no guarantee it will have support.

A limited ceasefire announced by Israel last week was rejected as a propaganda ploy by Palestinian leaders and has failed to stop the bloodshed.

Mandela renewed South Africa's support for the Palestinians and their leader, Yasser Arafat.

As far as we are concerned what is being done to the Palestinians is a matter of grave concern. We are the friends of Yasser Arafat. We are the friends of the Palestinians. We support their struggle, he said.