BERLIN — Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat arrived in Berlin on Sunday at the start of a two-day visit to discuss relations between Germany and the Palestinians.
Police said Arafat was taken to his hotel after arriving at the airport here.
The Palestinian leader is scheduled to meet today with German President Johannes Rau, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Finance Minister Hans Eichel and the speaker of the German parliament, Wolfgang Thierse.
On Tuesday, he is to fly to Stuttgart, where he will meet with Erwin Teufel, governor of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Abdullah Frangi, the Palestinian representative in Germany, said Arafat planned to use the visit to explain the Palestinian position in the Middle East peace process.
"The visit should give a new impetus to relations," Frangi said.
Earlier Sunday, Arafat accused Israel of holding up U.S.-brokered peace talks and vowed to declare an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip this year if an agreement cannot be reached.
Arafat's downbeat assessment came as Israeli and Palestinian teams were trying to make progress toward a Sept. 13 deadline for a comprehensive peace treaty.