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Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
World reaction to Ramallah siege
Yasser Arafat
Under siege: Arafat's situation has drawn widespread criticism
There has been condemnation from leaders around the world to Israel's destruction of Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound.

Here is a selection of statements from across the globe.

"The military operation under way against the office of the president of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is unacceptable. France asks for it to be halted immediately."

French Foreign Ministry statement

"This will not contribute to the end of terrorism, nor to the efforts undertaken in order to consolidate a serious reform of the Palestinian Authority and to work for a peaceful settlement of the conflict."

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana

"To limit the freedom of movement of the Palestinian leadership is not an effective way to fight terror."

"Israel must stop the occupation of Arafat's headquarters and Arafat must do his utmost to stop the terror."

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller

(Israel's actions) violate all agreements and humanitarian principles and this proves that Israel is not working for peace."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher

"While we understand that Israel has to take security measures, peace can only be achieved by negotiation, not military action."

Spokeswoman for British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

"The recent savage aggressions by the Zionist regime, its siege and destruction of part of the offices of President Arafat are part of the same failed Israeli policy of repression."

Statement from Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi

"Israel has a right to defend itself and to deal with security. But Israel also needs to bear in mind the consequences of action and Israel's stake in the development of reforms in the Palestinian institution based on this progress."

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer

"Yasser Arafat is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It is extremely regrettable that such an attack was carried out against him."

Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit

"(Israel is) committing war crimes against the (occupied) territories... but because of US double standards the UN Security Council is unable to rebuke this country."

Syrian Government newspaper Tishrin

"It is important to end the siege and destruction of the headquarters of the head of the Palestinian administration and give the Palestinian authorities a real chance to impose order on their territory, put a stop to extremist attacks and arrest those guilty of terrorist acts."

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov

The BBC's Gillian Ni Cheallaigh
"Israel is pulling the noose tighter than ever on Arafat"
Israeli Government adviser Dore Gold
"Israel has no interest in causing any harm to Mr Arafat"
Palestinian Nabil Rudeineh from inside the compound
"The bulldozers are still continuing their mission"

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See also:

21 Sep 02 | Middle East
20 Sep 02 | Media reports
19 Sep 02 | Middle East
19 Sep 02 | Middle East
19 Sep 02 | Middle East
20 Sep 02 | Scotland
22 Sep 02 | Middle East
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