PLO Officially Requests Permission to Open Observer Office in Vienna

The Palestine Liberation Organization has officially requested permission to open an observer office in Vienna, a government spokesman said yesterday. Farouk Kaddoumi, leader of the PLO’s political department, and his deputy, Zaid Kamal, made the request Monday during talks with Foreign Ministry officials.

The observer office is designed to carry out activities in connection with the Vienna-based international organizations to which the PLO is accredited. The organizations involved are the Vienna-based international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“We told them to submit their request to the organizations and they promised to do so,” the spokesman said. “The subsequent procedure is that the organizations then turn to us for permission to open an office.” The opening of a full PLO office for propaganda was not discussed, the spokesman added. Kaddoumi’s visit was postponed several times because of the PLO’s concern over the Lebanon situation.

The Austrian Foreign Minister, Willipald Pahr, who is currently at the UN General Assembly in New York, was not able to receive Kaddoumi, which made internal discussions about such a meeting purely academic. The opposition Conservative People’s Party has opposed the opening of a PLO office and maintains that Pahr should not receive Kaddoumi since he represents a terrorist organization.

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