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Qureia asks France for Arafat records
Updated: 2004-11-16 15:08

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia on Monday asked France to release the medical records of Yasser Arafat, his office said.

Arafat, 75, died Thursday in a French hospital, where he was taken Oct. 29 for treatment after his health deteriorated. Neither Palestinian officials nor Arafat's French medical team have announced the cause of death.

Qureia asked France for the "full medical report into the death of President Arafat and the reasons for his death," the statement said.

However, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said late Monday that France had not yet received a formal request. "As soon as we receive one, we will examine it fully," he said.

The intense secrecy surrounding Arafat's final days has aroused frustration and rumors in many parts of the Arab world. On Friday, just hours before the funeral, Arafat's Jordanian physician, Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, called for an autopsy, citing poisoning as a possible cause for Arafat's death.

However, on Saturday a top Palestinian official, Nasser al-Kidwa, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations and Arafat's nephew, said that there is no evidence that Israel poisoned Yasser Arafat.

Nevertheless, he, too, called for an investigation.

Israeli officials have angrily denied accusations of wrongdoing, noting that they allowed foreign medical teams to examine Arafat and permitted him to fly to France for treatment.

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