2004 News Story

Crown Prince Abdullah in Cairo for Arafat’s funeral service

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was received in Cairo today by Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak and by Palestinian leaders Farouk Kaddoumi and Mahmoud Abbas, prior to participating in the funeral ceremony at the Al-Jala’a Mosque for President Yasser Arafat, who died in Paris yesterday.

Grand Shaikh of Al-Azhar Muhammad Sayed Tantawi told the gathered dignitaries from all over the world, that Yasser Arafat had served his people all his life "with courage and honesty". In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia stopped by to inspect progress in the preparations being made for Arafat's tomb at the Palestinian headquarters where he was a virtual prisoner in his final years. The Palestinians consider the gravesite temporary - a place for Arafat's body until the day they hope they can honor his request to be buried in Al-Quds [East Jerusalem].

Meanwhile, in absentia funeral prayers were performed for President Arafat at both the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.