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Monday, April 26, 2004

Spain criticizes Arafat Israel

for threatening Arafat
AlertNet, Alerting humanitarians to emergencies:

CASABLANCA, Morocco, April 24 (Reuters) - Spain's new prime minister on Saturday criticised Israeli threats against Yasser Arafat and pledged to work intensely for Middle East peace.

"I don't think certain threats, that undoubtedly contribute to intensifying the climate of tension...are the right way," Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told a news conference during a visit to Morocco.

Spain added its voice to international condemnation
of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's threat against
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.(AFP/File/Abbas Momani)

He was responding to a question about threats by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon against the Palestinian president. Sharon said on Israeli television this week he was no longer bound by a pledge not to harm Arafat.

A deepening Israeli-Palestinian conflict would have a negative effect on "many of the problems of security, peace, and understanding" in important regions of the world, he added.

AFP: "Like the north American administration and all our European partners, we do not consider these declarations opportune," said Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

"Above all (they are) unlikely to promote a climate of dialogue and understanding," he added, saying Europe sees Arafat as "the elected president, voted for in the only democratic ballots which have taken place in Palestine."

Now that's a new twist: supporting Arafat = supporting democracy. Very creative.