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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
The Palestinian News Agency, Wafa, has apologized for a report it issued saying that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair had sent a cable to Yasir Arafat wishing for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. In a report by the agency's political editor on 27 December the agency says that Blair had instead sent the Palestinian leader "a traditional greetings card". The agency criticized Britain's "abrasive denial" of the original report, adding that Palestinian hopes for statehood were legitimate. The following is the text of the report entitled "A greeting card, not a message of congratulations!" published by Palestinian news agency Wafa web site; subheadings inserted editorially:
Gaza 27 December: The political editor of the Palestinian News Agency (Wafa) wrote the following:
The spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair was not felicitous in her comment on a report disseminated by the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) on a message of congratulations the prime minister sent to …