Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said in a letter to Bill Clinton Tuesday that he hopes the US president will one day participate in Palestinian independence day celebrations, the Palestinian news agency reported.
"On this anniversary that is dear to all of your hearts, from the president down to every member of the American nation, we and our Palestinian people look forward to the day when you join us for our independence day," said a copy of the letter reprinted by the official Wafa news agency.
Arafat said the Palestinians, who Monday vowed to declare an independent state in September even without an agreement with Israel, were guided by the United States' independence from Britain, celebrated in the United States on Tuesday.
The Palestinian president called on Clinton, who visited Gaza City in 1998, to help them cast off Israeli occupation.
"We, the Palestinian people, strive for freedom and emancipation from our occupation and tyranny and to implement our rights. We take you as an example and follow the light of your independence," said the letter, handed to the US council in Jerusalem.
Clinton has been trying to organize a summit in Washington between Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, but the two sides remain too far apart to guarantee its success.
"We remember when you said during your historic visit to our nation that you mentioned that the Palestinians people have the right to live freely today, tomorrow and forever. We want to implement what you said," Arafat wrote -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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