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Expelling Arafat No Way To Calm Middle East

Expelling Arafat not seen as a way to calm situation in Middle East

The German government has expressed criticism of an Israeli cabinet decision to forcibly remove Palestinian President Yassir Arafat from the region. Speaking in Berlin on September 12, a Foreign Office spokesman said: "The German government takes the view that expelling Yassir Arafat is not an appropriate way to calm the current volatile situation in the Middle East."

The Foreign Office spokesman went on to say the German government feels the focus of current efforts should be on returning to the Middle East roadmap, adding that both the Chancellor and the Foreign Minister have emphasized this repeatedly over the past few days and expressed concern that the situation could be further destabilized.

"The terror and violence must end. The German government, the European Union, and the international community have repeatedly appealed to both sides to avoid doing anything that would stand in the way of a peaceful settlement or, indeed, be counteractive to it," the spokesman noted. He indicated that Palestinian reforms need to be continued with the active support of the Israeli government, saying there is no alternative to this. He added that attention is now focused on efforts being undertaken by the Quartet (US, UN, EU, Russia).

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