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Israel claims success after Japanese envoy skips Arafat (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Aluf Benn 08/19/03)Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=330872&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Israel´s effort to prevent foreign diplomats from meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat has had some success this week. Tatsuo Arima, special envoy of the Japanese government for the Middle East peace process, arrived in Jerusalem yesterday, after meeting with PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. The Japanese official did not meet with Arafat.

Arima met with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and the Prime Minister´s Bureau chief Dov Weisglass. Arima affirmed that he stressed to Palestinian officials the importance of "dismantling the terror infrastructure," referring to Palestinian terror cells in the territories. Arima also praised steps taken by Israel to move ahead with the peace process.

Foreign Minister Shalom will depart Saturday night on his first visit to Japan, where he will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumu and Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, who visited Israel and the PA a few months ago. The purpose of Shalom´s trip is to strengthen ties between Israel and Japan, following a long period in which top Israeli officials have not visited Tokyo.

Israel has announced that its delegates will not take part in official meetings with foreign representatives who have met with Arafat. The policy is part of a diplomatic war Israel is waging with the European Union, whose policy is to meet with the PA Chairman. (© Copyright 2003 Haaretz. 08/19/03)

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