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Powell Calls on Arafat to Curb Violence


Secretary of State Colin Powell has called for Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to do more to curb violence, following suicide bomb attacks that killed 25 people in Israel.

Secretary Powell told reporters in Bucharest that Mr. Arafat needs to do a lot more than has been seen so far. He was quoted as saying there has not been a 100 percent effort by the Palestinian leader.

Mr. Powell is in Romania for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe focusing on terrorism. The gathering of Europe's top-security body plans to adopt a resolution outlining common strategies to fight terrorism

Secretary Powell is expected to meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres on the sidelines of the conference to discuss the Middle East crisis.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who is also in Bucharest, is quoted as saying the United States and Russia have agreed to work together to avoid the worst in the Middle East. The Russian official says the situation has reached a critical stage and only a political solution can help. Mr. Ivanov spoke following a meeting with Secretary Powell.

Later, Mr. Powell travels to Turkey to brief leaders on the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan. The secretary of state is on a tour of Europe and Central Asia that is focusing on Afghanistan.

The campaign is also expected to top the agenda in Mr. Powell's talks in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. All three Central Asian States are providing support for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Mr. Powell's tour will also include visits to Russia, Germany, Britain, Belgium, and France.

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