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Yasser Arafat Reacts to Summit Agreement

Aired October 17, 2000 - 8:49 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: This just in to the CNN Center. Yasser Arafat has returned to Gaza to speak to the Palestinian people on the heals of this emergency summit.

CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney is standing by.

Fionnuala, is this the public statement that President Clinton was calling for, condemning the violence?

FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a very good question. Within the last few minutes, Carol, Chairman Arafat came back from that summit at Sharm el-Sheikh. He arrived at Gaza Airport within the last half-hour, and within the last five minutes, he arrived at the presidential office, where he made a very, very short statement to journalists, saying that the most important thing that what was achieved at the Wye Summit should be implemented.

And he spoke about the ongoing violence, despite the calling for a cease-fire. He said it was a violation, and then he thanked both President Clinton and Kofi Annan for their efforts in trying to solve the situation -- Carol.

LIN: Any reaction there from the Palestinian people that you've seen so far?

SWEEENEY: Well, we spoke to people this morning, and they said that whatever the outcome of this summit, they didn't think it was going to make any difference in their lives. People said that this current intifada that is taking place is very similar to 1987 intifada, the only difference being that this time the Arab world are behind the Palestinian people. And that no matter what the outcome of the summit at Sharm el-Sheikh, they really didn't think the violence was going to stop, despite any call for a cease-fire that might be made.

LIN: All right, thank you very much, CNN's international anchor, Fionnuala Sweeney reporting live from Gaza.

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