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Arab Pressure Increases on the UN to Recognize the PLO

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Arab delegates to the UN have shifted into high gear in their pressure on the world organization to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization. A resolution calling for an invitation to the PLO to address the General Assembly next month has been drafted by the 30 member states of the Arab League.

One source said here that the invitation may come up today at the Assembly’s plenary session. A UN spokesman termed this report “unconfirmed rumors.” But the Arab states were scheduled to meet this afternoon and some observers believe the meeting is in connection with the PLO invitation.

Last week there were indications that the resolution would be out for a vote some time this week. According to diplomatic sources at the UN some 70 of the 138-member Assembly are expected to co-sponsor the draft resolution. The diplomatic sources said that all of the Communist states, a majority of the African and Asian states and several Latin American countries can be expected to co-sponsor the resolution. A debate is expected in early Nov.

Jordan, however, is not expected to be a co-sponsor of the resolution despite its membership in the Arab League and the fact that it was one of the 56 nations which last month supported a request that the “Question of Palestine” be placed on the Assembly agenda. Jordan’s position on the resolution was indicated last week when her chief delegate. Zuhayr al-Mufti, told the Assembly that his country had a “special relationship” with the Palestinian people but made no mention of the PLO.

If the PLO is invited it would be without precedent in the UN. Since its establishment, only member states have been permitted to address the Assembly. Observers noted that if the PLO is accorded recognition it would greatly increase the PLO’s chances of participating in the Geneva talks as a separate entity. The fate of the conference would thereby be in jeopardy, the observers said.

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