Powell says Arafat isn't helpful, but U.S. doesn't want him killed - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/14/03 - Baghdad, Iraq

Powell says Arafat isn't helpful, but U.S. doesn't want him killed

Secretary of State Colin Powell says Yasser Arafat hasn't been helpful to peace.

But that doesn't mean the U.S. wants him kicked out of the West Bank, or killed.

Powell told "Fox News Sunday" Israel is well aware of the U.S. position on Arafat's future. His comments came in the wake of a top Israeli official saying killing Arafat is an option.

Powell says the consequences of eliminating Arafat "wouldn't be good ones." He says it could trigger "rage" in the Muslim and Arab worlds in what is a delicate moment in the region.

But Powell repeated that it's important for the Palestinian people to be represented by a leader who will fight terror. He says he hopes the new Palestinian prime minister will be given the authority he needs to do that -- which Powell says Arafat didn't give Mahmoud Abbas.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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