CIA director meets with Israeli leader

Tuesday, June 4, 2002

JERUSALEM -- CIA Director George Tenet met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday, beginning a tough Mideast mission in which he wants assurances Yasser Arafat will revamp the Palestinian security forces to prevent attacks on Israel.

Sharon has repeatedly said he does not believe the Palestinian reforms will be serious as long as Arafat leads the Palestinian Authority, and had been expected to deliver that message to Tenet.

Tenet, who arrived Monday, met with Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer before going to see Sharon, Israel Radio reported. The CIA chief was to meet with Arafat on Tuesday.

In advance of Tenet's visit, Arafat has been holding discussions on streamlining his multiple, overlapping security forces, which include about a dozen different agencies. Early Tuesday, Palestinian officials said Arafat had decided to reduce the security structure to six branches: four security forces, plus military intelligence and his personal guard unit. He was to present the plan to Tenet later Tuesday.

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