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The United States rejects Arafat's terrorist regime
MSNBC (www.msnbc.com) reports that President Bush and the United States mean what they say when they call for the ousting of chairman Yasser Arafat and his thugs from the Palestinian Authority.
“THE U.S. RESPECTS democratic processes, but if a leadership emerges that does not deal with terrorism, the U.S. cannot deal with that,” [national security adviser Condoleezza] Rice told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” suggesting that the United States would not deal with Arafat even if he were elected in free elections.
I copy the full article below.
U.S. won’t accept election of Arafat
In the latest sign of the Bush administration’s efforts to oust Yasser Arafat, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice suggested Sunday that the United States “cannot deal” with an administration that includes the embattled Palestinian leader.
“THE U.S. RESPECTS democratic processes, but if a leadership emerges that does not deal with terrorism, the U.S. cannot deal with that,” Rice told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” suggesting that the United States would not deal with Arafat even if he were elected in free elections.
Washington is not talking to the Palestinian chairman now and had no plans to in the future, and the United States would not support his reelection or negotiate with a Palestinian Authority led by him, Bush officials said Sunday.
In a speech spelling out his plan to end 21 months of Israeli-Palestinian violence, Bush called last week for a new Palestinian leadership to pave the way for a Palestinian state and a final settlement within three years. But the price was to cast aside Arafat.
“The United States will, of course, respect democratic processes. But the fact is that if a leadership emerges that will not deal with the problem of terrorism, the United States can do nothing to move this process forward,” Rice told NBC.
Arafat has called elections for January 2003 and declared himself a candidate. Opinion polls put him in the lead.
NO PLANS TO MEET
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday he has no plans to meet with Arafat and that previously discussed international peace conference this summer is not likely.
“I worked for 18 months to try to put in place a plan that would allow Chairman Arafat to demonstrate his leadership,” he told CBS “Face the Nation.” “We would have been way along if the violence had been brought down. Chairman Arafat simply did not seize any of these opportunities to bring the violence under control.”
“Moreover, after the Israelis pulled back from the recent occupation ... we thought maybe we have some movement,” said Powell. “What we saw instead were more bombing. Bombing after bombing after bombing after bombing, day after day. Frankly, we also saw continuing indications that there was complicity with the senior levels in the Palestinian Authority.”
Suicide bombings killed 26 Israelis last week.
“At the moment, we are not dealing with him,” said Powell on “Fox News Sunday.” Asked if the United States would resume contacts with Arafat, Powell said: “I don’t expect so.”
Among its global partners, the United States appears nearly alone in its stance that Arafat must go.
In a statement issued after a summit in Canada, the Group of Eight industrial nations said Palestinians must adopt democracy but failed to get behind the effort to replace Arafat.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed frustration with Arafat but did not call for his removal. “It’s for the Palestinians to elect the people that they choose to elect,” said Blair, the closest U.S. ally.
Saudi Arabia, as Washington’s most influential Arab ally, opposes replacing Arafat, the head of Saudi intelligence was quoted as saying in an interview published on Saturday.
Prince Nawaf bin Abdul-Aziz told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that Bush could complicate Middle East peace efforts by demanding that Palestinians dump the leader they elected in 1996
“The kingdom is against any intervention in the internal affairs of the Palestinians. We must leave it to them to decide who their president is and not to have any power such as the United States impose one on them,” Nawaf said.
Arafat himself offered on Sunday to meet with Bush “any time, anywhere” to promote Middle East peace.
“I would like to meet President Bush any time at a place of his choice so we can work towards comprehensive peace,” Arafat, speaking by satellite link, told an audience of businessmen and political leaders in the Swiss mountain resort of Crans Montana.
“Of course we are against terrorism, we are making every effort to end terrorist acts, particularly against Israel,” he said in reply to a question.
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