Israeli Arab Deputy: Arafat Critical of Clinton Bias
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is critical of US President Bill Clinton for being "biased" in threatening the Palestinians with sanctions if they unilaterally declare a state on September 13th, Israeli Arab deputy Taleb Sana' said Saturday.
"I met Arafat Friday in Ramallah on the West Bank and he expressed his displeasure at Clinton's threat of sanctions if he unilaterally declares a state on September 13, and thinks that he has thereby compromised his status of neutral mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian talks," Sana' told AFP.
"Arafat also said he was disappointed at the planned transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem, signaled by Clinton," he said.
Sana' said that Arafat was still sticking to his decision to declare a state on September 13th, with or without Israel's agreement, "and has given instructions to his security services to avoid tensions, in other words clashes with Israel."
The member of parliament also said that "Arafat stated he wants to come to an agreement with Israel, as the Camp David summit was just a stage (in the process), but the Palestinian President could not give up the sovereignty of all the eastern part of Jerusalem" occupied by Israel since June 1967.
An official Palestinian source in Gaza has also told AFP that Arafat planned to deliver a letter to the US consul in Jerusalem, addressed to Clinton.
In an interview broadcaster Friday on Israeli television, of which the White House issued a transcript, Clinton warned Arafat against a unilateral declaration of an independent state.
"I think it would be a big mistake to take unilateral action and walk away from the peace process, and if it happens there will inevitably be consequences, not just here but throughout the world," he said in the interview.
In such a case, he said, "I would review our entire relationship." - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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