Martin Indyk, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Israel, presented his credentials to President Ezer Weizman in a formal ceremony held here this week.
After meeting with Weizman on Monday, Indyk told reporter that Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat must prove his ability to fight terror before the next stage of the Palestinian self-rule accord is implemented.
Arafat and the Palestinian Authority must take stronger measures to ensure that “the bombmakers are found and the bomb-making factories shut down,” said Indyk.
“Chairman Arafat has on a number of occasions made clear that he intends to do that. We need to see a 100 percent effort in that regard.
Indyk, discussing the Israel-Syrian peace talks, told reporters that he intended to play an active part in the negotiations.
He said he believed Syrian President Hafez Assad does intend to make peace with Israel.
“He plays his cards very close to his chest,” Indyk said. “He will not make any concessions prematurely. When he makes a concession, he expects something in return.”
Indyk, 44, worked as a consultant for the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, for about a nine-month stint in the mid-1980s. He served most recently as President Clinton’s National Security Council Advisor on the Middle East.
He is well-known for his dual containment approach toward Iran and Iraq, which advocates a strong U.S. policy against each nation.
He also served as the founding executive director of the influential Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank.
The Australian-born diplomat became a naturalized American citizen two years ago.
Indyk is the first Jew to serve as an American ambassador to Israel.