http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/33764

Annan Warns Against Isolating Arafat

Posted Jan 30, 2002 by Digital Journal Staff
VIENNA (voa) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has urged an end to the isolation of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Mr. Annan told reporters in Vienna that it is difficult for Mr. Arafat to lead because he is being isolated and virtually under house arrest.
Israeli military forces have prevented Mr. Arafat from leaving his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah since December.
The Bush administration has been increasingly critical of the Palestinian leader, putting pressure on him to take concerted action to stop terrorism against Israeli civilians.
Mr. Annan urged care in dealing with the situation. He said that when the leader who is supposed to act is weakened to the point of impotence, there is a real problem. The U.N. chief said he does not see how Mr. Arafat can deliver what the international community wants him to do.
On Monday, the European Union repeated its support for Mr. Arafat, saying Israel needs him as a partner for negotiations, both to eradicate terrorism and to work toward peace. At the same time, the 15-nation group insisted Mr. Arafat do more to stop terrorism.