Bill Clinton, Northern Ireland, and the Middle East
This chapter focuses on the Clinton administration’s efforts to bring about a more peaceful Northern Ireland and Middle East. In the short run, the president’s commitment to the Northern Ireland peace process looked like a mistake. Clinton knowingly offended a major ally when he granted a visa for Gerry Adams—the leader of Sinn Fein, the political party in Northern Ireland associated with the Irish Republican Army—and he willingly went to Wye River and Camp David without prior assurance that high-level meetings would produce positive results. On the other hand, Clinton’s efforts to bring peace to the Middle East were far more extensive than those he devoted to Northern Ireland; they were, however, less successful. Indeed, the failure to secure a negotiated solution to the long-standing disputes between Israel and the Palestinians was one of the great disappointments of the Clinton presidency.
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