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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 22:05 GMT
Arafat's death: Global reaction in quotes
Image of Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat led Palestinian politics for more than 40 years
World leaders have been sending their condolences following the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Below are some of the tributes and reflections.

Many of them express the hope for further efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.


For nearly four decades, he expressed and symbolised in his person the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Now that he is gone, both Israelis and Palestinians, and the friends of both peoples throughout the world, must make even greater efforts to bring about the peaceful realisation of the Palestinian right of self-determination.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan


At dawn, we lost President Yasser Arafat, who we knew as a defender of justice, as a man who strove towards peace, and resisted occupation, and as a man who looked for international legitimacy.

History will judge him as a brave man who defended his people and I have total confidence in the people succeeding him in power.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak


Arafat's legacy will be the one, the leader, the president who united the Palestinian people, the leader who kept the Palestinian national identity from extinction, the man who initiated the peace of the brave, the man who united the Palestinian people and it's his legacy of peace.

It's the determination today that we continue the path of freedom and independence and peace, the path of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat


The recent events could be a historic turning point for the Middle East.

Israel is a country that seeks peace and will continue its efforts to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians without delay.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon


There is no doubt that with the death of Yasser Arafat an era has ended... for good or bad.

The biggest mistake of Arafat was when he turned to terror. His greatest achievements were when he tried to build peace.

Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres


(It is) good that the world is rid of him... The sun is shining in the Middle East.


Israeli Justice Minister Tommy Lapid


The death of Yasser Arafat is a significant moment in Palestinians' history. We express our condolences for the Palestinian people.

We hope that the future will bring peace and the fulfilment of the aspirations for an independent democratic Palestine that is at peace with its neighbours.

US President George W Bush


He led his people to an historic acceptance of the need for a two-state solution.

Peace in the Middle East must be the international community's highest priority: the goal of a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel is one that we must continue to work tirelessly to achieve.

We will do whatever we can working with the US and EU to help the parties reach a fair and durable settlement.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair


The Palestinian people, despite their deep pain, will know how to overcome its sorrow and pursue its efforts to recover the rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Jordanian King Abdullah II


With him disappears a man of courage and conviction who for 40 years incarnated the Palestinians' fight for recognition of their national rights.

France, like its partners in the European Union, will maintain, firmly and with conviction, its commitment to two states... living side by side in peace and security.

The road map, approved by Yasser Arafat, opens up that prospect.

[...] I came to bow before President Yasser Arafat and pay him a final homage.

France, of course, will continue to tirelessly act for peace and security in the Middle East and will do so with respect for the rights of the Palestinian and Israeli people.

French President Jacques Chirac


Yasser Arafat strove during his lifetime to lead the Palestinians to independence and establish a sovereign, viable Palestinian state.

It was not granted to Yasser Arafat to complete his life's work.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder


A great political leader of international significance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin


It is perhaps the most tragic aspect of President Arafat's death that he did not live to see the fruition of his ambition of a Palestinian state, despite the early promise which attended his election as president of the Palestinian Authority.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern


The people of Pakistan, and indeed the entire Muslim world, is in deep shock at the passing away of Mr Arafat, who tirelessly struggled throughout his life for the attainment of the rights of the Palestinian nation and for securing an independent state for them.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf


The death of Yasser Arafat marks not only the departure of a great leader but also a turning point in the history of the Middle East.

Yasser Arafat will be forever remembered... by people from all parts of the world for his courage and determination against all odds in championing and protecting the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi


He was the ultimate embodiment of decades of the just struggle of a nation for its undeniable rights to self- determination.

We share in this great loss and we fervently hope that it will translate into renewed momentum for the attainment of freedom, eternal peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people in their own country.

Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa


An outstanding leader of the Palestinian cause and... an outstanding politician.

He was deeply respected and supported by the Palestinian people and enjoyed great prestige among the international community.

Chinese President Hu Jintao


I sincerely hope the Palestinians overcome their sorrow and continue with their effort toward achieving peace and prosperity in the region.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi


I think history will judge him very harshly for not having seized the opportunity in the year 2000 (at US-brokered peace talks) to embrace the offer that was very courageously made by the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, that involved the Israelis agreeing to about 90% of what the Palestinians wanted.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard


I regret that in 2000 he missed the opportunity to bring that nation into being.

[I pray] for the day when the dreams of the Palestinian people for a state and a better life will be realised in a just and lasting peace.

Former US President Bill Clinton


Yasser Arafat was one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation, one who gave his entire life to the cause of the Palestinian people.

We honour his memory today.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela


The values and high virtues that Arafat embodied during his struggle for the Palestinian cause will inspire the Palestinian people so that they preserve their cohesion and unity and pursue their path to win back their national, legitimate and eternal rights.

Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali


May God in his pity receive the soul of [Arafat] and concede peace to the Holy Land, with two independent and sovereign states, wholly reconciled.

Chief Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls


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World reaction to Arafat's death



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