Friday, September 24, 2004

French Reiterate Support for Arafat

UNITED NATIONS - Disagreeing with US officials, France’s foreign minister said on Thursday that no progress could be made in the Middle East peace process by marginalizing or not negotiating with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

“There are a number of political authorities who say that nothing can be done with Yasser Arafat,” said Michel Barnier, answering a question on whether he was concerned that recent calls by US President George W. Bush for a change in Palestinian leadership would further undermine the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“I believe that nothing can be done without Arafat, or against Arafat,” Barnier said. “He is the legitimate and chosen leader of the Palestinian people, and we must have a dialogue with him because he represents his people.”

The French have never met a murderous dictator they didn't like. - EoZ