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Brazilian Gov’t, Has Said No to PLO Office, but Approval Eventually Due

The Brazilian Foreign Ministry said today the government had not approved opening of a Palestine Liberation Organization office in Brasilia but informed sources said that eventual approval was a certainty. The Foreign Ministry statement was in the form of a denial of an announcement by Ibrahim Abdalla, chief of the Arab League office in Rio, that such approval had been given.

The Foreign Ministry admitted contacts with PLO representatives but insisted that “the government of Brazil considers herself entirely free to examine all aspects of the question.” The sources said that Foreign Ministry officials had been irritated by the Abdalla announcement, calling it “a kind of pressure” against the government.

The sources said that one result of Abdalla’s announcement would be a delay in approval of the projected PLO office. Abdalla had announced that the PLO would shortly open an office in Brasilia for all Latin American activities. He also said that Sala Zawawi, 39, arrived here last week to head the PLO office and that Zawawi had a letter from PLO chief Yasir Arafat to President Ernesto Geisel and to Foreign Minister Azeredo de Silveira.

Abdalla also had asserted that a PLO delegation had been on a secret mission to Brasilia last November and that Silveira, in receiving the delegation, had “agreed to the opening of a PLO center in Brasilia for all Latin America.”

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