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Arafat Repeats Old PLO Concept

PLO chief Yasir Arafat reiterated today what he described as a six-year-old PLO concept that the PLO would “accept to establish” its own “independent state in any part” of Palestine from which Israel “withdraws” or which “we liberate” from Israel. Appearing on the CBS-TV “Face the Nation” program, taped in Beirut Friday, Arafat rejected the Camp David framework for “self-rule” on the West Bank and Gaza Strip as “new slavery.”

He appeared to repudiate a statement by Rep. Paul Findley (R.III.) who met him in Damascus last week that the PLO is ready for a “de facto” peace with Israel if it could establish a homeland on the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a corridor between them. “What I told Findley,” Arafat at another point in the interview said, “is that we are ready to establish our state in any part of Palestine which we liberate” or from which “Israel withdraws.”

CBS reported later that after the televised portion of the interview ended, Arafat said “on the record” that he thought Israel and Egypt would sign a peace agreement. No mention was made during the interview of PLO terrorist activity.

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