Kissinger warns on way ahead

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 November, 1995, 12:00am

THE killing will pose huge difficulties for the peace process, former US secretary of state Dr Henry Kissinger said yesterday in Hong Kong.

Shaken by the murder of his close friend of 35 years, Dr Kissinger questioned whether a new Israeli leader would be as skilled in moving the process forward.

Having learned of Rabin's death after arriving in Hong Kong for a conference on the territory's future, he was close to tears in a CNN interview on Sunday night. 'It's an extraordinary tragedy,' he said.

A composed Dr Kissinger told the media yesterday that Rabin was a rare man 'with vision who knew how to get to his vision'.

'To find such a balance is going to be very difficult and it is a tremendous loss,' he said. 'I don't think there's any question that his successors will have the same vision, the test will be whether they will know how to get there.' Dr Kissinger played an integral part in diplomatic efforts during the 1970s to negotiate between Arabs and Israel.

He said Rabin's strength was that he tried to gear the peace process to what the parties could assimilate in their day-to-day experience. 'That was a great insight and therefore he moved slowly, but also inexorably, into negotiations which combined the experiences and possibilities of both sides and I think that should be preserved.'