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04 February 2002

White House Report, Feb. 4: Arafat op-ed, Bin Laden whereabouts

(Bush on Arafat, whereabouts of bin Laden not known)  (220)
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer briefed en route Florida.
BUSH ON ARAFAT
In response to a question about Yasser Arafat's column in The New York
Times, Sunday, February 3, in which the Chairman of the Palestinian
Authority offered to hold talks with Israeli leaders, the White House
Press Secretary responded, "That doesn't change anything for the
President.
"The President continues to believe," Fleischer said, "that Chairman
Arafat has got to do more and to act in a concrete, lasting,
meaningful, effective way to stop terrorism and to take action against
terrorist groups in the Middle East."
BIN LADEN'S WHEREABOUTS NOT KNOWN
Asked about a report in the Sunday New York Times that the trail had
gone cold for Osama bin Laden, Fleischer said, "Well, we do not know
where he is. Secretary Powell and others said that on the (talk) shows
yesterday.
"Our efforts," said Fleischer, "remain just as strong as ever to
locate him, and the cooperation and intelligence-sharing we've had
with others has been very helpful. But we do not know where he is."
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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