20 PLO Representatives, Including Arafat, Have Received U.S. Visas

Yasir Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, will personally represent the PLO in the United Nations General Assembly debate in New York, opening Wednesday, the State Department formally announced today. Arafat and 10 other PLO representatives. Department spokesman Robert Anderson said, received special visas in Cairo from the American Embassy there. In addition, Anderson said, nine other PLO representatives, principally concerned with informational activities, obtained similar visas from the American Embassy in Beirut.

Anderson said he did not know the nationality of the passport Arafat is carrying. He also said he did not know the identity of the reported diplomatic passports carried by two other members of the PLO delegation.

Anderson refused to disclose where the PLO groups will stay in New York, pointing out the “important security aspects” of the visit and that he was “not at liberty to discuss” where the Palestinians will be housed. The Palestinians have been issued C-2 visas, which are issued to persons for United Nations “business” and which restrict them to a 25-mile radius of New York.

Anderson said he was “certain that the UN was very much concerned” with the security aspects of the visit and that “we are cooperating with the UN.” He also said that since the PLO visas restrict the holders to a 25-mile radius of New York, that, as far as he knew, none of them would come to Washington.

Anderson, who said the visas were issued to the Palestinians yesterday, said that neither Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger nor any other official of the State Department in Washington will go to New York for the discussion on the Palestinian question, which will be handled by John Scali, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, and his staff.

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