Arafat 'improving' say officials

2nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 2 (AFP) - Palestinian officials on Tuesday remained optimistic about the health of their ailing leader Yasser Arafat, and said he was following the US election with close attention.

PARIS, Nov 2 (AFP) - Palestinian officials on Tuesday remained optimistic about the health of their ailing leader Yasser Arafat, and said he was following the US election with close attention.

"The president is improving. Doctors are more convinced that the situation is under control," Arafat's economic adviser Mohamed Rashid told AFP.

Rashid said Arafat had made a series of "important" telephone calls to, among others, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Crown Prince Abdallah of Saudi Arabia and the senior Palestinian figures Ahmed Qorei and Mahmud Abbas.

"He was in a very good mood and he chatted with them and followed the activities in the territories. He is getting back to his normal activity slowly.

Visits will not be allowed before the end of the week and no results are expected before Friday," Rashid said.

He added that the president of the Palestinian authority was closely watching Tuesday's climax of the US presidential race.

"There is no politician in the world who is not following the election. And Arafat is following them because those elections have a huge impact on our situation. He will respect and deal with any American president. He said, 'I am not for Bush or Kerry, I am for God,'" Rashid said.

Arafat - the symbol of the Palestinian struggle for statehood for 40 years - was evacuated from his Ramallah headquarters on Friday and flown to Paris aboard a French government jet to receive treatment.

The frail 75-year-old was undergoing a series of tests at the Percy military hospital in the south western Paris suburb of Clamart to determine the nature of what is believed to be a serious blood disorder.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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