Chirac makes bedside visit to Arafat

4th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, France, Nov 4 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday briefly visited Yasser Arafat in the Paris military hospital treating the gravely ill Palestinian leader and offered his wishes for a speedy recovery, officials said.

PARIS, France, Nov 4 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday briefly visited Yasser Arafat in the Paris military hospital treating the gravely ill Palestinian leader and offered his wishes for a speedy recovery, officials said.

Doctors treating Arafat carried out an electroencephalogram (EEG) Thursday, a French medical source told AFP, describing it as "a sign of extreme gravity."

Earlier top aide Nabil Abu Rudeina said the 75 year-old leader was in a "critical and serious condition" in a military hospital outside Paris.

There have been conflicting reports throughout the day over whether he is in or out of a coma.

An EEG records brainwave patterns from the continuous electrical signals coming from the brain.

Arafat was flown to Paris from his West Bank headquarters nearly a week ago and is being treated for an undiagnosed blood disorder - but doctors have ruled out cancer.

His condition deteriorated suddenly Wednesday and he is in the intensive care unit of the Percy hospital in the suburb of Clamart.

Chirac "saw president Arafat and his wife (Suha) and expressed his wishes," spokesman Jerome Bonnafont told journalists.

The French president also saw other Palestinian officials at the Percy hospital in the south western suburb of Clamart that is treating 75-year-old Arafat.

"He spoke with doctors who are doing everything possible for the Palestinian Authority president's health," Bonnafont said.

He added that Chirac left a short while later for a European Union meeting in Brussels.

French medical sources earlier Thursday said Arafat was in a coma and on life support, but that was contradicted by Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei, who said in his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah that that information was wrong.

"He is not in a coma," Qorei told reporters. "There have been examinations and results are positive," he said without elaborating.

Earlier Palestinian sources said the 75 year-old has slipped into unconsciousness three times over the last 24 hours and could not confirm if he had regained consciousness on the last occasion.

Arafat - for 40 years the symbol of the Palestinian struggle for statehood- was admitted to the Percy military hospital in the Paris suburb of Clamart on Friday after being dramatically evacuated from the West Bank. He is suffering from an unknown blood ailment.

© AFP (combined reports)

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article