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Clinton talks to Rabin, Mubarak

President Clinton held back-to-back telephone conversations with the leaders of Egypt and Israel late Saturday in an effort to keep Middle East peace talks on track, a senior administration official said.

The calls were characterized as a follow-up to the initiatives Clinton set in motion Friday in response to the massacre of 40 worshipers in the Mosque of Abraham in the Occupied West Bank.

The president has asked Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat to send representatives to Washington immediately and instruct them to keep talking until agreements are reached to carry out the transfer of day-to-day control of Gaza and portions of the West Bank to Palestinians.

Clinton spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for about 10 minutes shortly before 6 p.m. EST Saturday and then telephoned Rabin for a 15-minute conversation, said the official.