Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean (Minister of State (Trade), Department of Trade and Industry; Labour)
My Lords, the reasons for President Bush saying what he did are a matter for him. Her Majesty's Government have made it very clear that we expect President Arafat and the Palestinian leadership to do everything that they can to combat terror, which has been such an appalling facet of what has happened in the Middle East. I can do no more than repeat what I said; namely, that it is the firm view of Her Majesty's Government that this is a matter for the Palestinian people. Until the elections are held, President Arafat is the elected president of the Palestinian Authority and the representative of the only organisation with which Israel can negotiate at the moment.