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Sharon Allows Meeting With Arafat

April 4, 2002

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed Thursday to permit a U.S. envoy to meet with besieged Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Sharon’s office announced.

Earlier this week, Sharon had turned down a request by Secretary of State Colin Powell to grant permission to U.S. mediator Anthony Zinni to hold talks with Arafat.

For a week, the Palestinian leader has been confined to a few rooms in his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah, and Sharon has said he is determined to keep Arafat isolated.

Sharon changed his mind after meeting with Zinni on Thursday.

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