Arafat is alive but condition is 'very complex', say French

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The Independent Online

The French Foreign Minister, Michel Barnier, described Yasser Arafat's condition as "very complex, very serious and stable" yesterday. In a television interview with LCI, Mr Barnier said: "He's alive", but did not give further details.

The French Foreign Minister, Michel Barnier, described Yasser Arafat's condition as "very complex, very serious and stable" yesterday. In a television interview with LCI, Mr Barnier said: "He's alive", but did not give further details.

Asked if the 75-year-old Palestinian leader was in fact brain dead, Mr Barnier replied: "I wouldn't say that." Mr Arafat spent a fifth day in intensive care at a French military hospital. Nabil Abu Rdeneh, one of Mr Arafat's senior aides who was visiting the hospital, denied his leader was in a coma.

Mr Barnier will hold talks in Paris today with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ahmed Qureia, the Foreign Minister, Nabil Shaath, and the former prime minister Abu Mazen. They will also have consultations with doctors about Mr Arafat's health.

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