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Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 12:56 GMT
Arafat doctors found 'no poison'
Memorials for Yasser Arafat in Gaza
Palestinians have a right to know, says Mr Kidwa
Tests on Yasser Arafat's body showed no traces of any known poisons, according to medical files released on Monday.

"There is no clear diagnosis," said Palestinian envoy to the UN Nasser al-Kidwa, but he declined to confirm that Mr Arafat had not been poisoned.

Mr Arafat died in a military hospital in France on 11 November from a so-far unexplained illness.

France handed over the records to Mr Kidwa, who is also Mr Arafat's nephew, despite objections from his widow.

Mr Kidwa told a news conference that he had not had time to study the full report - which is 558 pages long - and was speaking from a non-medical standpoint.

Arafat does not belong to a person or a family, but the whole Palestinian people
Nasser al-Kidwa
"But two central points remain: There is no clear diagnosis of the reason for the death and the toxicological tests were made and no known poison was found."

Disclosure row

Mr Kidwa added that the Palestinian people had the right to know the truth about how their 75-year-old leader had died.

The issue of Arafat's cause of death has been clouded by a row between the Palestinian Authority and his widow, Suha Arafat.

Her lawyers argued that under French law she alone had the right to see the report and to choose whether to divulge it.

"I can understand the feeling of a wife to keep the information and to remain the unique source but we have to consider the political view... not only the personal," Mr Kidwa told journalists.

"Arafat does not belong to a person or a family, but the whole Palestinian people."

He said he would hand over the report to the Palestinian Authority, which had set up a committee to study it.

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