George W. Bush photo

Exchange With Reporters in Portland, Maine

January 25, 2002

Situation in the Middle East

Q. Mr. President, are you consider cutting off ties to Yasser Arafat, sir?

The President. I am disappointed in Yasser Arafat. He must make a full effort to rout out terror in the Middle East. In order for there to be peace, we've got to rout out terror. And ordering up weapons that were intercepted on a boat headed toward—headed for that part of the world is not part of fighting terror; that's enhancing terror. And obviously, we're very disappointed.

Q. We're told that you thought his explanation was insulting, sir.

The President. I never said that. Thank you all.

NOTE: The exchange began at 12:25 p.m. while touring the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma at the International Marine Terminal. In his remarks, the President referred to Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Authority. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

George W. Bush, Exchange With Reporters in Portland, Maine Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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