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Arafat Urges UN to Push Final Status Talks with Israel - 2001-11-11

Palestine Authority President Yasser Arafat has told the United Nations General Assembly that the international community should develop plans for the resumption of final status negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians.

Mr. Arafat and President Bush did not meet during the General Assembly session. However, the Palestinian president thanked Mr. Bush for his statement that the United States looks forward to the time when Israel and Palestine can both live peacefully within secure and recognized borders.

Mr. Arafat rejected the idea of another interim agreement with Israel and said final settlement negotiations should be resumed. However, after 13 months of violence, the Palestinian leader said the revival of final status talks needs a big push. Speaking through an English interpreter, Mr. Arafat called on Russia, the United States, The United Nations, Arab nations and other interested countries to develop a plan. "I say they should introduce immediately a comprehensive framework for a permanent solution based on international legality and signed agreements," he said. "In that way, both parties can negotiate expeditiously about the details of that permanent solution."

Mr. Arafat urged Israel to respond positively to that approach.

The Palestinian leader also repeated his condemnation of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States. Mr. Arafat said Palestinians are ready to confront all terrorism, including state terrorism.