Arafat Heads to France to Discuss Peace Talks
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat left Gaza international airport for Paris Saturday, where he is due to meet French President Jacques Chirac, an official Palestinian source said.
The talks are expected to cover the results and follow-up to the negotiations with Israel at the recent Camp David summit, looking for a permanent arrangement for the West Bank and Gaza strip.
Arafat will meet Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, French officials said.
After his 24-hour stay in France, Arafat is due to go to Saudi Arabia, on the first leg of a tour of Arab capitals, the source added.
Arafat will hold talks with King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah during his stay in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
He will "explain to Saudi leaders what happened in Camp David and consult them on the issue of Jerusalem", said a source.
The source added that the Palestinian President will also "examine the next stage in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a final status, especially concerning east Jerusalem which should be completely returned to the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims."
Meanwhile, the Palestinian President received a letter from US President Bill Clinton prior to his departure to France.
Arafat's aide Nabil Abu Rdeineh said Clinton stressed in the letter "the continuation of his efforts to push the peace process." - GAZA CITY (AFP)
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