UNITED NATIONS (Jan. 12)
As the Security Council settled down late this afternoon to begin its debate on the Middle East, the American Ambassador challenged the legality of seating the Palestine Liberation Organization with the rights of a member state. Daniel P. Moynihan made his challenge as this month’s Council president, Salim Ahmed Salim of Tanzania, prepared to invite the PLO representative to take a seat. Moynihan said the invitation to seat the PLO was an ad hoc decision. He was referring to the adoption in November by the Security Council of the resolution extending the UNDOF mandate. Earlier, on Nov. 10, the General Assembly adopted a resolution inviting the PLO to take part “on an equal footing” with other parties in any Mideast peace conference. This decision was referred to by several delegates who insisted that the PLO had a right to participate in the current debate.
Yakov Malik, the Soviet Union’s Ambassador, replying to Moynihan, said the Council had already decided to invite the PLO and the U.S. was raising the question today in order to waste time and involve the Council with procedural matters. In November, when Malik was Council president, the Council approved the extension of UNDOF on the Golan Heights. At the time he said it was the “understanding of the majority” of the Council to invite the PLO to take part in today’s debate.
Moynihan today said that the PLO should not be invited because it does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. He also said the PLO has opposed Mideast negotiations under Resolutions 242 and 338 and “my government is not prepared to go along with an act that will undermine the negotiations for peace.”