Arafat Urges Clinton not to Veto UN Proposal to Send Forces to Palestinian Lands
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Saturday urged US President Bill Clinton not to veto a UN proposal to send an international force to protect the Palestinians.
During a visit to Jordan, Arafat called for Clinton not "to resort to the right to veto" in the UN Security Council, which would block a resolution calling for such a force to be sent to Gaza and the West Bank.
The Palestinian President arrived in the Jordanian capital late Friday.
"We are expecting the United States to act to implement what was agreed to at Sharm el-Sheikh and the other agreements that were concluded" between Israelis and Palestinians, Arafat said during a visit to Jordan.
It was at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in October that US President Bill Clinton extracted unwritten pledges for a truce from Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Meanwhile, Arafat played down the scope of Russia's efforts to end Palestinian-Israeli violence.
"It is not a Russian (peace) initiative but it is an attempt to calm the situation," Arafat told journalists after meeting Jordan's King.
During his meeting with the King, Arafat said that in the absence of a peace initiative, the priority was to stop the violence.
"We must stop the military escalation, return to the situation which prevailed" before September 28 and "apply what was agreed whether it was in Sharm el-Sheikh, Paris or Washington," he said.
He was referring to understandings reached in those places which are aimed at stopping eight weeks of violence that erupted when Israel's hawkish opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited a disputed Jerusalem holy site.
"Until now, the Israeli side refuses to apply what was agreed in Sharm el-Sheikh," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered a telephone conversation on Friday between Arafat, who was visiting him, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the first such contact in three weeks.
Arafat and Barak pledged to study the details of a new Russian initiative to end the two-month spiral of violence in the Middle East, the Kremlin said.
Upbeat Kremlin officials declined to reveal the precise details of the telephone diplomacy, but Barak's office said immediately afterwards that Arafat had declared himself ready to work for peace - AMMAN (AFP)
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