US President Bill Clinton and his political rivals have promised to bury the hatchet and leave the bitterness of his impeachment trial behind. As Mr Clinton went before the American people to apologise for the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the House Republican prosecutors urged Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr to wind up his probe and drop plans to indict the President. The partisan wrangling of the past 13 months gave way to a spirit of reconciliation after exhausted senators wrapped up the trial on Friday with the expected acquittal. Soon after the historic votes, Mr Clinton appeared in the White House Rose Garden, saying: 'I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events, and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and the American people. 'Now I ask all Americans, and I hope all Americans - here in Washington and throughout our land - will re-dedicate ourselves to the work of serving our nation and building our future.' The President announced yesterday that US ground troops would be sent to Kosovo as part of a Nato force if warring Serbs and ethnic Albanians agreed to a political settlement in the Serbian province. Mr Clinton also sent Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Paris amid fears the week-old peace talks there between the two sides were near collapse. Henry Hyde, the Judiciary Committee chairman who had led the impeachment drive, said he had no regrets about the process and echoed the President's plea for bipartisan co-operation. 'We must all now look forward to the many challenges facing our great nation in a spirit of reconciliation, not revenge,' Mr Hyde said. 'All Americans can take great comfort in knowing that by remaining faithful to this constitutional process, the Congress has strengthened, not weakened, the ties that bind our nation together.' But in a message to Mr Starr, he added, 'I don't think indicting and criminally trying him after what we have all been through is going to be helpful to the country.' Lindsey Graham, another Republican impeachment manager, declared that 'the President has been cleansed'. But even though Senate Democrats supported the President to the end, he will need time to recover their trust and goodwill after the bruising battle. 'As deeply disappointed as I am with the process, it pales in comparison to the disappointment I feel toward this President,' said Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle in his final speech before the votes. 'Maybe it is because I had such high expectations. Maybe it is because he holds so many dreams and aspirations that I hold about our country. Maybe it is because he is my friend. I have never been, nor ever expect to be, so bitterly disappointed again.' Columbia University professor Alan Brinkley said: 'I don't think anybody comes out of this looking good.' However, the process appears to be over. A move by Senate Democrats to follow the acquittal with a vote on censuring the President was blocked by Republicans. There is now little chance it will be revived after the body returns from a one-week recess.