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CNN LARRY KING WEEKEND

Encore Presentation: Interviews With Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan

Aired April 13, 2002 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a historic program, from a very different time. A time when hope replaced despair in the Holy Land. Our ground breaking interview with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and Jordan's King Hussein. Next, on LARRY KING WEEKEND.

Thanks for joining us.

With all the violence going on in the Middle East right now, it's hard to believe that the Israelis and the Palestinians were once on the verge of peace. But that's exactly where they stood in June 1995.

In fact, peace between Israel and the Palestinians looked like just a matter of time. The big question was Israel's relations with the other Arab countries in the region, particularly Syria.

It was in this optimistic climate that we brought you an unprecedented program.

To help mark the 10th anniversary of LARRY KING LIVE, the leaders of Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians came together for a historic broadcast.

A lot has changed since then.

While Yasser Arafat still leads the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at a peace rally in November of that same year, 1995. And Jordan's King Hussein lost his battle with cancer in February of '99.

But today we take you back to a time when the Middle East was on the threshold of peace and its leaders were hopeful about the future.

This remarkable conversation took place on the day that the United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher arrived for his 13th trip to the region.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: The reports today from Secretary of State Christopher is that everything looks good, and this is an unusual opportunity for Middle East peace. Would you report the same thing out of that meeting? YITZHAK RABIN, FMR. ISRAELI PRIME MIN.: Well, I would say that there is a great opportunity to move ahead with the peace process.

Let's first say that the real story breakthrough started when Egypt and Israel signed peace treaty in 1979. But then no Arab leader has followed the footsteps of President Sadat of Egypt, and President Mubarak followed after him.

Only the change on the international scene, the crisis in the gulf, and the strong, firm position of the United States against aggression between two Arab countries created realities that led to the Madrid Peace Conference.

What we -- what I, as the prime minister of the present government of Israel, started to do, is first to tackle the longest part of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

We started with the PLO leader, Chairman Arafat. It was followed by a peace treaty with Jordan that has got the longest border with Israel that any neighboring Arab country. And I hope that the continuation will be by negotiation with Syria.

And Syria, for all practical purposes, represents Lebanon. And therefore, there is a good chance for peace, but still, let's face it, there are many obstacles. There are many enemies of peace, first and foremost the extreme Islamic terrorist groups among the Palestinians, the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, the Hezbollah in Lebanon, and they are backed by Iran. And the extreme Islamism wave that goes over the Arab countries and the Islamic world.

KING: Mr. Chairman, are you optimistic? How do you feel to date?

YASSER ARAFAT, PLO LEADER: It is not a matter to be optimistic or not to be optimistic. The matter is, while we are looking to have real and honest and quick implementation to what had been agreed upon.

You know, the election was supposed to be last July, and now we are in June '95, and in spite of that, we will continue doing our best through the talks and negotiations with the Israelis, so we can have quick implementation to what had been agreed upon.

KING: Are you encouraging a Syrian-Israeli peace treaty as well? Would you like to see that?

ARAFAT: Definitely, because we are looking for a comprehensive, lasting peaceful solution between the Arabs and the Israelis. The Lebanese and the Syrians, Jordanians, Palestinians, Egyptians, and others.

KING: Your Majesty, your popularity is everywhere, and everyone in the Middle East seems to like you, and in this country and elsewhere. What is your role in this process?

KING HUSSEIN, JORDAN: My role in this process is to ensure that what we have achieved so far will be a model, a good example to others. It will be a cornerstone for peace, a comprehensive peace, which all of us search and seek between the Arab world and Israel.

KING: Are you optimistic?

HUSSEIN: I am optimistic, more so than every before. I believe that the experiences ...

KING: Why?

HUSSEIN: Well, there is no alternative. There is no other way than for us to carry out our duties toward future generations, and give them an opportunity to live with peace and dignity and security and to combine our efforts and talents and bring about the future that is worthy of them.

KING: Are you as concerned as is Mr. Rabin about the extremists?

HUSSEIN: I believe that there are those who try to destroy peace, as has happened already. But I hope that those who belong to the peace camp will be the overwhelming majority and that with perseverance and determination, the results will be a comprehensive peace, a just peace, a lasting peace.

KING: Mr. Chairman, before we get back to the prime minister and other issues, are you concerned about the Islamic extremists?

ARAFAT: First of all, as you remember, when we met the first time, after signing the agreement in Washington, I had named this treaty the peace of the graves, because we were expecting that we will face some troubles, especially from the extremists on the two sides, on the Israeli side and the Christian side and other sides.

But we have no other alternative but to be committed to the peace process, and we are committed to it, and we will, in spite of what we are suffering from the closure, from the economical situation, from everything, we will continue to be committed to the peace process. We have no other alternative but to carry on in this peace process.

KING: More in a moment with our Middle East leaders in this 10th anniversary week of LARRY KING LIVE.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE on this historic night.

From Amman, His Majesty King Hussein. From Tel Aviv, the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin. And from Jericho, the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat.

Mr. Chairman Arafat, July 1 is a key date for you. The Israelis are supposed to be out. You're supposed to get ready for the elections. Are we going to make it? ARAFAT: I hope that what had been agreed upon and what had been promised will be fulfilled accurately, especially you will remember the last meeting between me and His Majesty King Hassan of Morocco, in the presence of Mr. Peres, who had been committed to this date of the first of July.

Especially we also -- it is very important to be known for everybody that this election was supposed to be last July. And now, after one year, we are looking from all points of view that this will be fulfilled, according to what we had been promised.

We are in need of this election, because we are suffering, not only from delaying of the election. We are suffering from the closure for which we are actually, our loss is more than $6 million per day from the closure.

KING: And your people are expecting this to come about, aren't they? They're kind of looking forward to July first, as are you. Do you think it will happen?

ARAFAT: Look, I hope that we will have it, but it depends on the other side, not only on me.

KING: We will now ask -- let us ask the other side. Mr. Rabin, will you be out by July first?

RABIN: The question is not to be out. One has to read the declaration of principles.

It was divided into two parts. One part was implemented, we all saw Jericho The second part is vis a vis the West Bank. In the definition of the DOP, the declaration of principle, there are two phases of the redeployment of the Israeli forces in the West Bank.

One, to allow elections. Second, after the elections, to help further redeployment.

We are in a process of negations with the Palestinians. What is needed to be done to make it possible to carry out elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians negotiators would like to focus now not only on the first phase, which is needed to make it possible to have the elections, but also about further redeployment.

In the DOP, there is nothing that is defined as a withdrawal as a West Bank. It is redeployment, and this is the issue. If the Palestinian negotiators will focus on what is really needed on our part to redeploy, not to be in the populated areas, in the real sense, not whenever there is a small village that will not be there anyhow.

But really to make it possible to make an agreement about the first place, what is needed to carry out elections and then to discuss the further redeployment, I believe the first of July is possible.

The issue will be complicated. On the two phases, I am not sure.

KING: Mr. Chairman, you want to comment on that? ARAFAT: First of all, no doubt we are looking deeply to what he is essentially saying, but at the same time I would like to remind him that the second phase has to declare that we must expand, and to expand the jurisdiction, the national jurisdiction, the Palestinian national jurisdiction, for the whole populated area, so that we can have a free election.

We can't have an election freely under occupation or in the presence of the Israeli military forces.

No doubt, we had agreed upon with the Israelis for the presence of international supervision for this election, but first of all, they have to withdraw from all populated areas in the West Bank so that we can have, very soon, our election free of any obstacles.

KING: Interesting. Your Majesty, at this point, the world can see what this can be like. What would you say to each of these parties regarding this July first matter?

HUSSEIN: Well, as far as the July first matter, I really hope that both sides will be successful in reaching agreement and implementing what they agree upon, and giving hope to many people who aspire to see things move rapidly towards the establishment of peace and the recovery of rights everywhere.

I believe that that is very, very important.

I would like to say to my brother, President Arafat, head of the PLO, the sole elected representative of the people of Palestinian, I am very happy to see you and wish you every success in the future, and I salute your braveness in moving ahead and assuming responsibilities and leading the Palestinian people toward peace. God willing, you will succeed, and we support you fully.

I would like to say to my good friend Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that it is a privilege to be on this program with you, and as one shepherd of the peace process to another, God willing we will continue to do our very, very best to see that what is between us, between our countries, becomes something that is between our people as well, a complete and comprehensive peace.

We are on the longest boarder, as you said, but we are guarding it on both sides, the Jordanians and the Israelis, in an atmosphere of confidence and trust and determination to keep it a boarder of peace.

This is the result of a lot of work, of assuming responsibilities, of negotiations, of facing difficulties and overcoming them.

I would like also to say that it is 28 years ago, we were still at this point in time probably winding down one of the worst disasters that occurred in this region. I was leading Jordan. Prime Minister Rabin was the architect of the Israeli military operation in the six day war.

Palestinians suffered. All of us suffered. I believe that after all these years, we will never forget those we lost on either side, on all sides, Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Arabs, Jews, Israelis, and it is in their memory that we must make sure that peace is achieved for future generations, so that the children of Abraham and their descendants can live in peace in this place, which is the birthplace of the three religions.

Thank you very, very much.

KING: Thank you.

When we come back with our three outstanding guests, we'll talk about Jerusalem, right after this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Should the United States be a broker in this?

GEORGE W. BUSH, U.S. PRESIDENT: Absolutely. The United States should try to foster peace, but what the United States should not do is to be so anxious to have a peace that we cause the Israelis to make security -- to make a peace that would harm their security.

KING: Do you fear that? Do you fear them harming ...

BUSH: Well, I think Prime Minister Barak is strong. I heard his message one time when he came to America. It said, look, it's fine for you to facilitate. We'll make the peace. And I believe that's important. I believe for us not to try to force a peace settlement on anybody in the Middle East.

It's one thing to broker. It's one thing to try to encourage a peace. It's another thing to force a peace in our image, on our terms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: We're back, and the question of Jerusalem. We may have some disagreements here.

We'll start with Chairman Arafat. In your long-range view, what should Jerusalem be?

ARAFAT: According to what has been agreed upon, since we went to Madrid, as I have mentioned before, according to resolution 242 and land for peace, which means that all the land which had been occupied in the war of '67, including East Jerusalem, has to be solved with other territorial areas, especially...

KING: Solved how?

ARAFAT: How? As we have mentioned, capital for the two states.

KING: Mr. Rabin, your position on Israel is -- on Jerusalem is?

RABIN: Very simple. I don't want to create any misunderstanding. For me, you mentioned that I am 73 years old. I was born in Jerusalem. I'm the first prime minister of Israel to be born here. I am the only former general to become a prime minister.

For me, Jerusalem was united, will be under Israel sovereignty, will be the capital of Israel and the heart of the Jewish people.

Whoever would like to raise the issue, to talk about it, no problem.

At the same time, we are committed to free access and free practice, to the members of the other two religions, to the holy shrines in Jerusalem. To the Muslims, to the Christians. And to make sure that the holy shrines to these two religions will be administered by their respective church.

We have a special commitment to Jordan, to the king of Jordan, that has maintained the responsibility of the holy shrines, to bring into our account this special responsibility, a Jordan responsibility, to the holy shrines of the Muslims.

There should be no misunderstanding about it, and whatever was said about resolution 242, it is better that it will be read clearly. There is no mentioning of withdrawal from all territories. There is a withdrawal from territories. Therefore, the issue of territories is an issue for negotiations.

Our position is very clear. Jerusalem is united, will never be divided again. I don't believe that in the name of the holiness of the city you have to put barbed wires, machine gun nests, mine pins and everything of that, in the name of the holiness of Jerusalem.

KING: Your Majesty, what do you think of that?

HUSSEIN: I'd like to express my own views in that regard.

I believe that the issue of Jerusalem, in any event, is to be discussed between our Palestinian brother and the Israelis, in the later stages of the agreements they have had.

But as far as we are concerned, the holy places in Jerusalem, the old city, is certainly occupied territory, but beyond that, I believe that in a context of peace, it should become in that regard the city of peace. The city of the coming together of all believers in God in the essence of peace, and there should be no sovereignty over these holy places, of one or the other.

But it should be the area where the followers of the three great monotheistic religions come together to represent peace between them for all times to come.

In terms of the Arab side of the city, it was occupied in June of '67, and therefore I don't see a Jerusalem divided by barbed wires or tanks or anything of the sort. But hopefully, in time, this very sensitive problem will be discussed and addressed, and Palestinians will also be a very, very important element in it. After all, it is their area and their cause and their case.

We will do whatever we can to help, but I hope that they will be able, together with the Israelis, to make Jerusalem a city of peace between Palestinians and Israelis as well.

KING: Mr. Chairman Arafat, do you think ...

ARAFAT: First of all, I would like to remind everybody that not only one person had been born in Jerusalem. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians also have been born in Jerusalem, and when he was born in Jerusalem, Mr. Rabin, his nationality was a Palestinian. Yes. Because Palestinian was under the British mandate.

At the same time, we are looking not only for religious reasons. We are looking for political reasons, our jurisdiction. And at the same time, we don't want to divide the city. Why not have one capital for two states? One capital for two states.

KING: Mr. Rabin, Mr. Arafat says you're a Palestinian. Is that fair? One capital, two states.

RABIN: Well, I believe that, first, we have to reach an agreement as it is defined in the declaration of principle.

I am the first prime minister of Israel that is ready not to adopt (UNINTELLIGIBLE) government, philosophy of the whole land of Israel.

I would like Israel to be a Jewish state, and therefore not to annex over 2 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to Israel, which will make Israel a bi-national state, against the will of the Palestinians

I recognize that there is a Palestinian people, and next to Israel should be a Palestinian entity that I don't want to define it now.

This is why I enter negotiations with Chairman Arafat, the leader of the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, with the purpose to have coexistence between our two entities, Israel as a Jewish state and Palestinian state, entity, next to us, living in peace.

How will it develop? What will be the boundaries? What will be the future of Jerusalem? It's not the major issue. I accept, in principle, what (UNINTELLIGIBLE), the opposition to my government, don't accept that there is a need to divide between the Palestinian entity and the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank and Israel.

We have to recognize that there is a Palestinian entity, that the PLO and the Palestinian Authority has to run their life.

KING: Excuse me, Mr. Prime Minister.

More in a moment with our Middle East leaders in this 10th anniversary week of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD NIXON, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: I would say the Middle East, in the 90's, will be the area of the greatest opportunity for progress toward peace and progress, and the greatest opportunity for disaster.

It is the prime candidate for nuclear war, because the Israelis have nuclear weapons. I'm not going to tell you how I know, but I know that.

KING: As a former president, I'm going to take your word.

NIXON: Others in the area are going to get them. There's no question about it. By hook or crook. That is why it is vitally important that Israel make its deal now, rather than waiting until later, when its potential adversaries will have the power to threaten its existence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back.

Tonight we're rebroadcasting a historic program. It was the first and to our knowledge the only time the leaders of Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians appeared together on the same program.

Today, the Mideast seems trapped in a vicious cycle of violence, but in June of 1995 the mood was very different.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Jordan's King Hussein and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat all believed that peace in the Holy Land was almost at hand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: A personal question for each of our guests, and then more issue related questions.

Your Majesty King Hussein, you are 60 years old. You are in good health now?

HUSSEIN: Yes, thank you very much, indeed. It appears that I am in good health. I have gotten over the cancer problem that I had, and the rest is in the hands of God.

KING: Mr. Chairman Arafat, 66 years old. Are you in good health? ARAFAT: I thank God for my health, but at the same time I have to say to His Majesty, my best wishes and best regards, and also I send it to Prime Minister Rabin. And I hope that all of us will continue in this line, until we will be able to achieve what our people are looking to have, the comprehensive, lasting peace resolution in the area.

KING: Does that mean, Mr. Arafat, that when there are elections in your area among the Palestinians, you will definitely run for the presidency?

ARAFAT: See, you haven't the right to ask me this question. You have to respect the democracy. What will be the result of the election, we will respect it.

KING: But you will run?

ARAFAT: I think it depends on my critics, if they want me to run, I will run it.

KING: Mr. Rabin, Mr. Prime Minister, you are 73 years old. Are you going to seek reelection next year?

RABIN: I don't believe that this is the time to speak about it.

I intend to continue what I have started. I brought about dramatic change in the interrelationships between the Arab world and Israel by first making the agreement with the PLO, the representative of the Palestinians, mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel, and above all, signing the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, hoping to continue it with the Palestinians on one hand, and with the Syrians on the other.

KING: Are you in good health?

RABIN: I am healthy. I wish all my colleagues to the peace process to be healthy. I admire King Hussein his courage in leading his country for a long time. I appreciate the Chairman Arafat for his courage to take the decision to enter into negotiations with us.

And let's hope that this will be the way that we will solve our problems, in the time that we have, and the time is in our hands, and the results are dependent on what we will do.

KING: More in a moment with our Middle East leaders in this 10th anniversary week of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: If we could succeed in bringing a comprehensive peace to the Middle East, and then we could bring the benefits of that peace to all the people who live there, I believe that that would help us to defeat terrorism in all continents in the next century. I think it's a huge deal for all the people of the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Mr. Rabin, Mr. Prime Minister of Israel, Monday night on this show, the president of the United States, President Clinton, said he had no doubt that Assad is serious and that you and he will have peace. Do you have no doubts?

RABIN: Well, I always have a doubt on one hand, and at the same time, expectations to have it in a better way.

The problem with Syria is that Syria doesn't want to talk with us on a bilateral basis, only under the auspices of the United States.

We appreciate the efforts of the United States, of the president, of the secretary of state, and we are ready to find, in terms of formalities, any form of talks, but we have to overcome the differences between Syria and Israel, to reach peace. I try my best, and I don't want to speculate.

We say in Israel that in accordance to the Bible, all the prophets came from this region. But it's not advisable now days to become a prophet, what will happen here.

We try our best to reach peace. We are ready to compromise. We are ready to take calculated risks, but for a peace that will give us security.

KING: Would you invite Mr. Assad to Israel?

RABIN: I have invited many times, but so far not a president of Syria, not a foreign minister of Syria, no members of the Syrian government was ready to meet any Israeli counterpart. The United States serves as a go-between, serves in Washington, under its umbrella, the director in the presence of the American officials.

We accept every form or way to talk to the Syrians how to achieve peace.

KING: So you would invite Mr. Assad to Israel?

RABIN: I invite now President Assad to come to Jerusalem and to speak with me, with our parliament, with whomever he wants to speak in Israel and in the territories among the Palestinians.

KING: Your Majesty, should Assad go to Israel?

HUSSEIN: I think that what should happen is, obviously, with the help of the United States, progress must be made, and I hope that dialogue between the two sides at the very highest levels can be established, because this would help remove many of the obstacles, many of the barriers and walls and create a better atmosphere for peace.

But I am very optimistic that with the coming visit of the secretary of state and all the efforts made, maybe we'll see some progress there. We're definitely concerned, but hopeful and optimistic that everything finally will go along the right track.

KING: Mr. Rabin, Mr. Prime Minister, the Golan Heights. Are you prepared to talk about it? Leave it? Meet Mr. Assad there?

RABIN: First, allow me to say, everybody who is involved with the peace negotiations is for peace.

The problem is, what is his definition of peace? What he wants is a price for peace.

And may I add to what I said, I am ready to meet President Assad not only in Jerusalem, but in Damascus or anywhere that he'll decide that he is ready to meet me.

Vis a vis the Golan Heights, no doubt that the present government of Israel, under my leadership, is the first government that is ready to speak about a withdrawal. In the context of the achievement of peace, where up to which line it is related to other issues.

What will be the lengths of withdrawal? What will be the interfacing between, first, limited withdrawal, and full implementation of normalization of life between Syria and Israel? Embassies on both sides. Open boundaries.

We would like to test it ...

KING: The way to do it is to start talking.

RABIN: Forgive me. With Egypt, we had, after signing the peace treaty, nine months of withdrawal to part of Sinai.

Then two years and two months in which we had full normalization of life, embassies, open boundaries, before we completed a withdrawal to the agreed border of peace.

With Syria, we didn't have the visit as we had with Egypt with President Sadat in Jerusalem. We didn't have the invitation of Begin, then the prime minister to (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We didn't have the Camp David Accords.

We want to put the peace into test before committing to a withdrawal to the line that we have not yet agreed on.

KING: All right. Mr. Chairman Arafat, if Mr. Assad asked you, and since it is your interest to want peace in this area, would you tell him to do what other leaders in the past have done, take the step, go and meet him?

ARAFAT: Not to forget, first of all, we had agreed upon, from the beginning, to go together and to participate in the Madrid conference, according to this initiative which has been declared by President Bush, peace for land and land for peace.

And according to this, we had accepted, all of us, Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Israelis, Palestinians, to participate in Madrid conference. And no doubt, all of us are willing to achieve real peace.

And at the same time, no doubt President Assad knows exactly what he is doing, and he will continue, as he had declared yesterday with Mr. Dennis Ross, and in his phone to President Clinton, that he is committed to the peace process.

KING: By the way, President Assad was invited to appear tonight, and declined.

We'll come back with more questions of our three major leaders in the Middle East and their effect on world peace, right after this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY CARTER, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: I think this is a delay now in making progress with Syria on the Golan Heights, and I think if we don't make progress and conclude an agreement with Syria before the election time comes along in Israel, that it might be politically impossible, or certainly more difficult, on Israel to make any sort of concessions. It would be necessary.

I think, though, that both sides, both Prime Minister Rabin and President Assad, know that the time is running out, and my hope is that during 1995 there can be another very strong effort made to resolve the Golan Heights issue.

I think that in itself would help a great deal to ease some of the tension between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Mr. Arafat, in our remaining moments, do you like the fact that the United States is involved in all of this process, or would you rather they not be?

ARAFAT: No, they must -- we are looking for their complete involvement, not to forget that they are one of the cosponsors and that we are very happy that the Oslo Agreement has been signed under the auspices and supervision of His Excellency President Clinton, and in Washington, in the White House, and I have to think His Excellency for this. And we cannot forget this historical moment.

And at the same time, also, in Cairo, when we signed the agreement in Cairo, it was...

KING: So you like the United States staying involved?

ARAFAT: No doubt. I am looking for it.

Also, in Cairo, the two cosponsors had signed the agreement, beside me and Prime Minister Rabin.

KING: King Hussein, do you favor the United States staying involved.

HUSSEIN: Definitely, I do favor that. I favor the United States involvement, and continuation with us, in terms of helping all concerned move towards bringing about a better future and a better life for all the peoples of this region.

KING: Mr. Prime Minister, do you favor he United States staying involved?

RABIN: Allow me first to compliment you to bring the three of us together. I believe that the future of the region depends on the kind of cooperation between King Hussein, Chairman Arafat and Israel to bring about a new Middle East.

I am for the United States being involved, and I hope that the United States will keep its commitment to Jordan, to the Palestinians, in accordance to what was said to them.

As far as Israel, I am not worried about the relations between Israel and the United States.

KING: And one thing more, Mr. Rabin, would you invite Mr. Arafat to Israel?

RABIN: Whenever he wants.

KING: Mr. Arafat, would you like to go to Israel?

ARAFAT: I would like, you know, we will have no obstacles to meet anywhere, and I am appreciating what His Excellency had mentioned and we have to continue in our coordination and cooperation for the sake of our new generations.

Peace in the land of Peace (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: And, King Hussein, we all salute you for your involvement, and I thank you, Your Majesty, for joining us tonight as well.

And maybe we can all do this again soon.

HUSSEIN: I hope so, very, very much indeed, and a very happy anniversary to you.

KING: Thank you.

HUSSEIN: And, by the way, Save the Children deserves every support and help as well. And greetings to all my friends on this program. Thank you. KING: Thank you all, very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Sadly, two of the three participants in this program are no longer with us.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in November 1995, shot while attending a peace rally.

Jordan's King Hussein died of cancer in February 1999.

And Yasser Arafat is currently surrounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

June 1995 seems like a long, long time ago.

Tomorrow night, we'll have a live edition of LARRY KING WEEKEND with an update on the crisis in the Middle East, and among the guest former Senator George Mitchell, who has drawn up his own Middle East peace plan. We'll get his thoughts on how maybe to end this violence.

Until then, good night.

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