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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 6, 2001

Statement by the Press Secretary
Election of Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister of Israel

The President telephoned Ariel Sharon this evening to extend congratulations on his election as Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

The President told Prime Minister-elect Sharon he looked forward to working with him, especially with regard to advancing peace and stability in the region.

The United States has worked with every leader of Israel since its creation in 1948.  Our bilateral relationship is rock solid, as is the U.S. commitment to Israel's security.

The United States deeply appreciates Ehud Barak's friendship to the United States and his commitment to regional peace throughout his tenure as prime minister.  We wish him well.

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