Press Releases

         15 November 2004

    Secretary-General Deeply Moved at Death of President Arafat

    NEW YORK, 11 November (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General was deeply moved to learn of the death of President Yasser Arafat.  President Arafat was one of those few leaders who could be instantly recognized by people in any walk of life all around the world.  For nearly four decades, he expressed and symbolized in his person the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

    President Arafat will always be remembered for having, in 1988, led the Palestinians to accept the principle of peaceful coexistence between Israel and a future Palestinian state.  By signing the Oslo accords in 1993 he took a giant step towards the realization of this vision.  It is tragic that he did not live to see it fulfilled.  Now that he has gone, both Israelis and Palestinians, and the friends of both peoples throughout the world, must make even greater efforts to bring about the peaceful realization of the Palestinian right of self-determination.

    The Secretary-General’s deep-felt condolences go to his wife Suha and his young daughter Zahwa and to the Palestinian people.

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