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Bush: Arafat Must Take More Action to Halt Mideast Violence - 2001-12-14

President Bush says Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat must take more action to stop violence in the Middle East.

President Bush says Chairman Arafat has repeatedly said he intends to fight terror and bring to justice those responsible for attacks on Israeli civilians. Now, Mr. Bush says, it is time for the Palestinian leader to perform.

"The world expects Chairman Arafat to lead and so do I. And I will continue to work with our friends and allies to talk with Mr. Arafat in very blunt terms," Mr. Bush said.

If Mr. Arafat wants peace, President Bush says, he must do everything in his power to use Palestinian security forces against those who use violence to keep peace from happening.

While Mr. Bush says he will continue to make peace in the Middle East a priority for his administration, he says that effort starts with rooting out terror wherever it exists.