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Blum Rejects Waldheim Request

Secretary General Kurt Waldheim is seeking a ” counter gesture” on the part of Israel in the wake of yesterday’s announcement by the Palestine Liberation Organization that it began closing down its offices in the port town of Tyre and pulling its members out of villages in south Lebanon to head off Israeli attacks against Lebananese civilians.

According to the spokesman for the Israeli UN Mission, Waldheim made his request in a meeting this morning with Israel’s UN Ambassador Yehuda Blum. During the meeting, which lasted an hour, the Israeli envoy told Waldheim the PLO announcement cannot be considered a “gesture.” The announced decision of the PLO to withdraw from south Lebanon, Blum contended “is a result of the Israeli activity in the area of the city of Tyre, which brought pressure from the local populace to remove the terrorists from the area.”

Blum also said, during his conversation with the Secretary General, that even after the reported withdrawal from south Lebanon by the PLO, terrorists belonging to other terrorist organization will stay in the area. In addition, Blum pointed out the presence of “hundreds” of terrorists in the area under UNIFIL control in south Lebanon.

Meanwhile, intensive consultations are being held here between members of the Security Council concerning the renewal of the UNIFIL mandate which is due to expires June 19. The Council will meet next Tuesday to vote on the extension of the UNIFIL mandate.

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