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U.S. Point Man in Mideast Says He’s Ready to Call It Quits

Dennis Ross, who has been the U.S. State Department’s point man in Middle East negotiations for almost a decade, will call it quits when the Clinton administration leaves office.

Sounding a bit discouraged, Ross told the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on Monday, “I have done this job for a long time and I must consider the impact on my family. I don’t intend to stay on in the next administration.”

Recalling the situation before violence broke out in late September, Ross said, “That was only five weeks ago, but it seems as if we are now living in a different world.”

Ross added that the violence of the last five weeks has “created on both sides a sense of betrayal, mistrust and psychic wounds that will take a long time to heal.”

Ultimately, however, Israel and the Palestinians must learn to coexist, said the veteran Jewish diplomat.

But for peace to last, it must be accepted by the people and not just by leaders and negotiators, he said.

“In the long run, neither a military solution nor one imposed from the outside will work,” said Ross.

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