There were two areas, however, in which Clinton stood tall and unwavering, and showed maturing leadership. From 1993 onward he showed a determination to do what was possible to bring peace to two tormented regions—northern Ireland and the Middle East. With regard to the first, risking the displeasure of the British government, he accepted visits from Gerry Adams, the leader of the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, and by such a conferral of legitimacy, helped bring the IRA and the Ulster Protestants to a cease-fire. He followed this up by dispatching a special envoy to moderate ensuing talks looking toward a permanent peaceful settlement. Likewise, he encouraged and endorsed, though did not broker, a significant peace accord achieved in Oslo, Norway, between Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Since the Irish peace talks did not reach fruition until 1998—and since the Oslo accords were under-cut by tragic developments in 1995 and afterward—the full account of these admirable moves belongs with the story of Clinton's second term.