Arafat Heading to France at Start of Arab, International Tour
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat will kick off a tour of Arab and international capitals at the weekend to brief leaders on the failed Camp David peace summit with Israel and explain the Palestinian position, a Palestinian official said Thursday.
Nabil Shaath, Palestinian minister for international cooperation, said Arafat would travel to France, most probably on Saturday, as part of a tour that was previously described as focusing on Arab capitals.
Shaath did not specify the countries that Arafat would visit, but said "there are visits planned and intensive international efforts to continue to explain the Palestinian position."
In his first foreign contact after the summit broke down on Tuesday, Arafat stopped over in Alexandria on Wednesday to meet Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak before heading home to Gaza.
Shaath said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official and one-time chief negotiator, had been dispatched to Amman on Thursday to brief Jordan on the failure of the US-brokered summit.
Shaath also said Arafat had received an invitation to visit Russia from President Vladimir Putin - GAZA CITY (AFP)
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