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Blum Says Young’s Explanation for His Meeting with a PLO Representative is Unconvincing

Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, said today he has told Andrew Young, the United States Ambassador to the UN, he did not accept his explanation for his meeting last month with a representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Blum told a press conference at the Israel Mission to the UN that he met with Young for 90 minutes last night at the American envoy’s request. Young said his meeting with Zehadi Labib Terzi, the PLO observer at the UN, was “inadvertent” since Terzi dropped in while Young was visiting at the home of Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdolla Yaccoub Bishara.

Young’s explanation is “unconvincing,” Blum said, and would be “difficult to accept” by the man in the street. He said he told Young that the meeting was not “compatible” with the U.S. commitment not to talk with the PLO until it recognizes Israel’s right to exist and accepts UN Security Council Resolution 242.

According to Blum, during the course of the Young-Terzi meeting, “certain questions relating to the current debate of the Security Council (on Palestinian rights) were also discussed,” a claim that contradicted Young’s statement that the meeting was confined to social conversation.

In Israel today, the Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan had instructed Ephraim Evron, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, to protest the meeting to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance.

The State Department, in explaining the meeting which took place in New York July 23, said yesterday that only civilities were exchanged between Young and the PLO representative. The Department said Young had gone to Bishara’s house to discuss UN matters. However, the State Department today offered a different version of the incident and said that Young knew that Terzi would be at Bishara’s apartment when he went there. (See related story.)

CITES EVENTS DISTURBING ISRAEL

At his press conference today, Blum said he pointed out to Young recent “disturbing” events which have worried Israel. He said this included the dispute over placing the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO) in Sinai and a recent statement by Young calling Terzi a “decentiman.”

Blum said he mentioned other “inaccuracies,” ### as abatement by Young comparing the Israeli ### of terrorist bases in south Lebanon to U.S. bombings in Vietnam, and an other statement by Young referring to “seven million homeless Palestinians.”

“All that has happened in recent months is highly disturbing to Israel,” Blum said, Noting that there have been reports of changes in U.S. policy toward the PLO, Blum mentioned the “rumors about a change in Resolution 242.” As for as Israel is concerned, Resolution 242 contain an “exhaustive list of all the elements needed for peace in the Middle East” and any additional elements would only upset the “delicate balance” of the resolution, Blum stressed.

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