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Allow Arafat movement

Last updated: 2004-06-30

Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki

South Africa's president says there can be no solution to the conflict in the Middle East without the involvement of Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat.

In opening remarks at a United Nations conference on Palestinian rights in Cape Town on Tuesday, President Thabo Mbeki called on Israel to allow the free movement of Mr. Arafat.

He said nobody has the right to decide for a group of people who their leader should be.

Israel has confined Mr. Arafat to his West Bank headquarters for more than two years, accusing him of supporting terrorist attacks on Israel.

The two-day conference is being attended by South African government officials, members of the Palestinian Authority, U.N. representatives and academics.

Story supplied by: VOAnews