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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hospitalized Yeltsin Plans Christmas in Palestine

President Boris Yeltsin was in satisfactory condition Tuesday and worked on some state business from his hospital bed, where he is being treated for suspected pneumonia, according to his prime minister.

Vladimir Putin said the president remained on top of government affairs despite the latest health setback.

"No changes in connection with his illness are expected," he told reporters.

Yeltsin was feeling well enough for a 20-minute talk on the phone Tuesday with visiting Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and confirmed plans to visit Bethlehem in January as part of year 2000 Orthodox Christmas celebrations.

"The president confirmed that he would visit holy sites in Palestine as earlier planned," Arafat, who is in Moscow on a two-day visit, said at a news conference after their talk.

Yeltsin also reiterated his support for the Palestinians' right to self-determination and the creation of their own state, presidential spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin said.

Yeltsin, 68, fell ill last Thursday with what the Kremlin described as a viral infection and acute bronchitis. Doctors ordered him to the Central Clinical Hospital for treatment Monday after suspecting he had come down with pneumonia.

Putin said Tuesday that Yeltsin, known as a restless patient, didn't want to go to the hospital, but doctors finally managed to persuade him.

In Washington, U.S. President Bill Clinton said Tuesday: "I checked on it yesterday and they believe he'll be all right."

Yeltsin's latest illness prompted Russia and Belarus to postpone signing a union treaty. Putin said the signing would take place when Yeltsin recovers.

Yeltsin was still preparing for several other meetings and trips, including a visit to China in December, Interfax reported.