The Palestinian leadership demanded Wednesday from the U.S. administration to immediately release Mohammed Abbas, the leader of the Front for the Liberation of Palestine arrested in Baghdad. He is also known as Abu Abbas. According to the Filastin satellite channel, Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Authority Minister of Local Government, urged Washington to comply with the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement of September 28, 1995. Erekat stressed that according to this agreement signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, "members of the PLO are not subject to arrest or judicial prosecution for their activities before September 1993." According to Erekat, Abu Abbas visited the Gaza Strip and the West Bank many times and took part in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. In connection with this, the Palestinian Minister urged the American authorities to release him immediately. Abu Abbas captured in Baghdad is accused of hijacking the Italian Achille Lauro liner in 1985, when an American citizen was killed.
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