Clinton: would be peace if Rabin had lived

The Oslo Accords

The Oslo Accords

There would have been peace in the Middle East had Yitzhak Rabin lived, Bill Clinton has said on the 15th anniversary of the Israeli prime minister’s death.

The former US president, in office at the time of the assassination, wrote in the New York Times that within three years there could have been “a comprehensive agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“To be sure, the enemies of peace would have tried to undermine it, but with Rabin’s leadership, I am confident a new era of enduring partnership and economic prosperity would have emerged.”

President Clinton, describing Mr Rabin as his friend, said “not a week has gone by that I have not missed him.”

He called for the world to remember Mr Rabin’s “vision for freedom, tolerance, co - operation, security and peace” and to honour his legacy by “looking clearly at the opportunities and obstacles to peace and getting on with the work at hand”.

Mr Rabin was shot by a right-wing Jewish extremist, Yigal Amir, as he left a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

Less than a year earlier, he had signed a historic peace treaty which made Jordan the second Arab country to recognise Israel.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with Shimon Peres and Yasir Arafat, for their efforts to secure peace through the Oslo Accords.

Last updated: 9:58am, November 4 2010