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2009.10.01 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

Former Ambassador to Speak at UNO Nov. 24

Omaha - Martin Indyk, a former United States ambassador to Israel, will give a lecture, “The New Administration – Making Peace in the Middle East,” at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Thompson Alumni Center on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and is part of the Ruth and Phil Sokolof Lecture series.

His presentation will use material from his new memoir, Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East. The book and his lecture draw on his many years of involvement in the region to provide the inside story of the last time the United States employed sustained diplomacy to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and change the behavior of regimes in Iraq and Iran. Indyk served both as ambassador to Israel and as assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs during the Clinton administration.

“Playing an important role in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians gives Dr. Indyk a valuable vantage point,” said Guy Matalon, director of the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies. The center is sponsoring the lecture. “His experience, reputation and credentials make him the obvious choice for the inaugural Phil and Ruth Sokolof Lecture in Israel Studies.”

Indyk currently serves as the director of Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He is well known as one of the lead U.S. negotiators at the Camp David talks and as the framer of the U.S. policy of dual containment, which sought to “contain” Iraq and Iran. In 1993, he became President Bill Clinton's Middle East advisor at the National Security Council, where he was responsible for helping to negotiate the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. In 1995, Clinton sent him to Israel to work with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Israeli-Syrian issues, and he was there when Rabin was assassinated. Since that time, he has worked with four Israeli prime ministers. He also served as assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs, where he was responsible for launching the secret negotiations that eventually led to the disarmament of Libya.

For more information, call 554-2139.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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