Icao Assembly Approves Observer Status for ‘liberation’ Groups

The General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has approved a resolution that would extend observer status to national “liberation” groups including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The draft was adopted by the 124-nation body at a meeting here Friday and sent with favorable recommendation to the ICAO’s supreme Governing Council for final approval despite vehement protests from international pilots groups that it was tantamount to inviting terrorists to be privy to ICAO deliberations.

Israel was the only member of the ICAO Assembly to vote against the resolution although several other members, including Canada, abstained. No breakdown of the vote was made public. The head of the Israeli delegation. Ambassador Amiel Najar accused the ICAO Assembly of “bending the knee” to “the representatives of the murderers of Munich, Zurich. Athens, Lod, Rome and else where.” He noted that “Scores of criminal enterprises in the field of international civil aviation have been committed by these groups and have caused hundreds of dead and wounded.”

IFAP VOICES CONCERN

The resolution did not refer directly to the PLO but specified that “observer status” at ICAO gatherings would be granted national liberation movements that were recognized by both the Organization for African Unity (OAU) and the Arab League. Representatives of the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations here voiced concern that a new wave of aerial hijackings would occur if PLO observers were allowed to attend ICAO meetings where they could learn of security measures and pass the information on to terrorists.

Final adoption of the measure lies with the Governing Council of the ICAO. A new 30-delegate Council is scheduled to meet during the week of Oct. 21 Its make-up includes seven new members, among them the People’s Republic of China and Yugoslavia. The Netherlands and Belgium, whose aircraft have been victims of Arab terrorists, have been dropped from the Council. Israel is not a member.

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