Erakat to Take Message from Arafat to US Urging International Protection
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat will carry a letter to the United States from his leader Yasser Arafat calling for international protection, and for Israeli to stop its "aggressions" against the Palestinian people, an Arafat aide told AFP on Wednesday.
"The senior negotiator Saeb Erakat will travel today to New York and Washington with a message from Arafat and the Palestinian leadership," presidential secretary Tayeb Abdel Rahim told AFP in Gaza City.
He said Erakat will meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, bearing a message for Annan and US President Bill Clinton.
"Erakat will have four requests: international protection for the Palestinian people, the formation of a fact-finding commission on the Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people, the stopping of the aggressions, including the closure (of the Palestinian territories), military escalation and the killing," Abdel Rahim said.
"He will also confirm the need to implement the basis of the peace process and UN resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of land for peace and for Israel to withdraw to the June 4, 1967 border," he added.
The United States said Tuesday that Erakat would follow acting Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami in meetings here this week with Albright aimed at restoring calm in the Middle East.
Erakat is due to meet Albright on Friday, while Ben Ami is to see her later Wednesday.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said no firm schedule had yet been arranged for the Erakat visit. However he confirmed that a Palestinian delegation led by Erekat would be coming to Washington "towards the end of the week." – GAZA CIYTY (AFP)
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