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PA minister denies dispute over security
UPI - 7/31/2002

GAZA, July 31 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Authority's minister of interior on Wednesday said he will continue reforms of the authority's security structure, denying reports he has had disputes with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat over the issue.

"There are no disputes between me and President Arafat," said Minister Abdel Razzaq Al Yahya said in an interview with the Palestinian Al Qudds newspaper. Al Yahya is part of body carrying out internal reforms into the more than dozen agencies of the Palestinian Authority police and security system in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israeli sources reported Al Yahya and Arafat had wrangled over the transfer of seven high-ranking police and security officers to other positions in the Palestinian public security. Al Yahya on Tuesday ordered that five of the men would be transferred and the other two cases would be discussed and studied by the Palestinian leadership.

Arafat had blocked the transfer and subsequently Al Yahya decided to stay with his family in Jordan and not go to Washington next week for talks with U.S. officials, according to Israel.

Al Yahya confirmed in the interview that he would indeed accompany the high-ranking Palestinian delegation invited to Washington to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and other officials.

Further, "reforms into the Palestinian security apparatuses are not over yet," Al Yahya said. "I will continue implementing reforms in the coming period and I'm not a magic man to make reforms during a short period of time."


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