Clinton: U.S. wont react to Arafat poisoning rumors

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States will wait for the results of any new investigation into Yasser Arafat’s death and won’t be responding to rumors.

Suha Arafat, the widow of Yasser Arafat, is filing a legal complaint in France asking authorities to investigate her husband’s 2004 death, about which she has recently raised new suspicions, her lawyer said in Paris July 10.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has approved digging up Arafat’s remains and wants an international probe of his predecessor’s death. A Swiss lab says it detected elevated traces of a lethal radioactive agent on clothing said to be Arafat’s, and some Palestinians are pointing to this as evidence that he was poisoned.

French doctors have said Arafat died of a massive stroke and had suffered from a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC. But the records were inconclusive about what brought about the DIC, which has numerous possible causes, including infections and liver disease.

If Suha Arafat’s complaint is accepted, it will give French authorities the ability to investigate her husband’s death.

Clinton, who spoke to reporters while in Vietnam, says speculation won’t help the process.

She also said she was looking forward to visiting Israel July 16-17 as part of a two-week foreign tour. Clinton said she would discuss a broad range of issues with Israeli leaders, including Middle East peace efforts. — ap