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King offers condolences after death of Arafat

11 November 2004

MADRID- King Juan Carlos of Spain expressed his condolences to the family of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, royal palace sources said.

In a telegram, the Spanish king asked the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Rauhi Fattouh, to extend his condolences to Arafat’s family and to all Palestinians.

Fattouh was sworn in Thursday as interim president of the Palestinian Authority.

Arafat died of an unknown illness in the early hours of Thursday at Percy Military Hospital outside Paris. He was 75.

King Juan Carlos and Arafat met numerous times, the last meeting taking place in May 2000 when Arafat visited Madrid to discuss the Middle East peace process.

One of the most important of these meetings took place in November 1994 when the Spanish monarch met with Arafat during his visit to Spain to receive the Prince of Asturias Prize for International Cooperation, which he shared with then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also expressed his condolences to Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and emphasized the resolve of his administration to lend support to “a future of peace and justice” for Palestinians and for the region.

Zapatero said in a telegram to Qureia that he was “deeply moved” by Arafat’s death and, on behalf of his Cabinet and the Spanish people, sent his condolences for “such a sad and significant loss”.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news