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Groups Hail Vote by House to Lift Bosnia Arms Embargo

Jewish groups are hailing a resolution adopted by the House of Representatives urging President Clinton to lift the arms embargo against war-ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Despite strong White House pressure to defeat the resolution, which was introduced by Rep. Frank McCloskey (D-Ind.), the measure passed by a vote of 244-178.

A Democratic leadership deeply divided on the issue only mustered 117 members, who joined 127 Republicans in calling for the United States to act independently in lifting the embargo.

The measure authorizes Clinton to send up to $200 million in military materiel to the region.

Later in the day, the House voted 242-181 to reject a measure urging Clinton to seek United Nations approval before lifting the embargo.

American Jewish Congress President David Kahn praised the initial House vote, calling it “a clear signal” that “we’ll no longer tolerate the blatant aggression against the Bosnian Muslims.”

B’nai B’rith President Kent Schiner also praised the House decision.

The House vote by no means translates into a lifting of the embargo. The Senate will now take up the measure, only one month after approving both an amendment to lift the arms embargo unilaterally and a measure to wait for U.S. allies to act.

Each of the conflicting stances passed by one vote.

If the Senate approves a bill to lift the embargo, Clinton could still veto the measure.

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