FM Peres meets with US envoy Zinni

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Media Advisor)
December 6, 2001

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres today (6 December) told US envoy Anthony Zinni that he is not certain whether Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has taken the decisions necessary in the present situation. Peres said that Arafat apparently is wary of an armed confrontation with the extremist Palestinian groups.

Peres further told Zinni that PA Chairman Arafat wishes to be accepted by the West while still remaining popular on the Palestinian street – and as a result, does not take the action which is required of him.

Minister Peres stated that there is a long list of intelligence warnings of imminent terrorist attacks and that Arafat has no time to spare – he must take immediate action. "We have no intention of toppling him, but he must display leadership," Peres stated.

Anthony Zinni noted that the Palestinians must demonstrate genuine measures, and not just ‘symbolic’ arrests.