The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 28, 2002

Statement by the Press Secretary

Earlier today, in response to a question, I stated that violence in the Middle East began at the end of 2000 and accelerated in 2001.  I mistakenly suggested that increasing violence in the Middle East was attributable to the peace efforts that were underway in 2000.  That is not the position of the Administration.  As President Bush has consistently said, he supported President Clinton's efforts, at the behest of the parties, to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

No United States President, including President Clinton, is to blame for violence in the Middle East.  The only people to blame for violence are the terrorists who engage in it.

I regret any implication to the contrary.


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