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ARABS-ISRAEL - Feb. 12 - Washington Praises Arafat's Letter.

Todd S. Purdum of The New York Times reports from Washington that Arafat has sent a letter to US State Secretary Powell, suggesting that he is ready to take a more aggressive stand against attacks on Israelis by Palestinian militants and to take action against those responsible for smuggling a shipload of arms seized on the ship Karine A by Israel on Jan. 3. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: "We did find it to be a positive letter, and we now look for action along the lines that he indicated in his letter". State Department officials said Arafat, while not taking responsibility for the arms shipment, did not repeat his denials. A senior US official said: "What he said, as leader of the Palestinian Authority, is that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the acts of its officials". (Last month, Arafat outraged the White House with a letter to Pres. Bush in which he disclaimed the PA responsibility for the arms shipment. Bush denounced Arafat, saying the PA was "enhancing terror". Israel and the US said the weapons were smuggled from Iran). Washington is particularly alarmed at the Iranian involvement, and a senior US administration official said Arafat had offered assurances that he did not intend to enter into any alliance with Iran or Hizbollah.
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Title Annotation:Yasir Arafat
Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Feb 16, 2002
Previous Article:ARABS-ISRAEL - Feb. 11 - Paris Offers Peace Plan.
Next Article:ARABS-ISRAEL - Feb. 13 - Army Raids Gaza Strip.

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