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Arabs Warn Canada Against Barring PLO from Conference

George Hajjar, spokesman for the Canadian Arab Federation, warned that if Palestine Liberation Organization representatives are barred from attending the United Nations conference on crime in Toronto in September, Canadian Arabs will attempt to disrupt Canadian-Arab business relations. Hajjar made the statement after he and three others met with External Affairs Minister Allan MacEachen. They also warned that Canada would jeopardize her economic and cultural relations with the Arab world if she gives in to “Israeli aggression and Zionist dictatorial insolence.”

OPPOSITION TO PLO CONTINUES

Earlier this week, 11 Canadian Jewish leaders, representing the Canada-Israel Committee, met with MacEachen and urged him to bar admission to the PLO group. In addition, many Canadian officials, including members of the national, provincial and local governments are strongly opposed to the admission of the PLO delegates to Canada. This has included the Premier of Ontario and the Mayor of Metropolitan Toronto. One possible option, according to observers here, is to designate Canadian citizens of Arab descent to represent the PLO at the Toronto conference.

The federal government is clearly embarrassed by the strong opposition to admitting the PLO into Canada and has postponed a decision for the past six weeks.

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