PLO chairman Yasser Arafat's formal application for an entry visa to the United States was delivered to the U.S. Consulate in the Tunisian capital Friday, and the State Department confirmed receiving it.

The State Department earlier this week sidestepped a decision on whether to allow Arafat an entry visa by refusing to recognize a U.N. visa request as a valid document for Arafat and about 20 aides, saying a formal application had to be made.The U.S. response came after Arafat said he had been told by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that an entry visa had been issued so he could travel to New York to address the U.N.