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 Home > News & Policies > January 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 25, 2002

President Discusses Middle East
Remarks by the President While Touring United States Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma
Portland, Maine

President Bush salutes as he disembarks the ship after his tour Jan. 25. "When it comes to securing our homeland, and helping people along the coast, the Coast Guard has got a vital and significant mission," said the President in his remarks at nearby Southern Maine Technical College. "And, therefore, the budget that I send to the United States Congress will have the largest increase in spending for the Coast Guard in our nation's history." White House photo by Eric Draper.

12:25 P.M. EST

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.

END  12:27 P.M. EST