Chirac welcomes Arafat to 'land of refuge'

29th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

ROME, Oct 29 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac, in Rome for the historic signing of the EU constitution, said France's tradition as a "land of refuge" motivated its decision to admit ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for treatment in a French hospital.

ROME, Oct 29 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac, in Rome for the historic signing of the EU constitution, said France's tradition as a "land of refuge" motivated its decision to admit ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for treatment in a French hospital.

"It was natural that France, land of refuge, would not question the right of the president of the Palestinian Authority to come for medical treatment in our country," he told reporters after the signing of the EU constitution by EU leaders here.

The French president added that he believed Israeli assurances that Arafat would be allowed to return to the Palestinian territories.

"I have no reason to doubt what was officially stated by the Israeli government," he noted.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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