TORONTO (Oct. 10)
Prime Minister Joe Clark said that the legitimate grievances of the Palestinians must be addressed in solving the Middle East conflict but that “it would not be proper to impose from Ottawa the form or expression of Palestinian existence in that region.” Clark was interviewed on a Canadian Broodcasting Corp. news program Monday night on the eve of the first session of Canada’s Parliament since his Progressive Conservative Party took office.
“I think there is no question that the Palestinian grievances have to be recognized as legitimate,” he said in reply to a question. “What has to be found is a group that speaks with authority on behalf of the Palestinians.”
Clark said that two conditions would have to be met before “we would be prepared to consider the Palestine Liberation Organization. First, if they would renounce violence and terror as an instrument and secondly that they would without equivocation or condition, recognize the right to exist of the State of Israel.”
Asked if he still stood by his election campaign pledge to move Canada’s Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Clark said he continued to favor recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but would have to consider the recommendation of his special emissary to the Middle East, Robert Stanfield, before acting on that pledge. Stanfield will submit his recommendations to Clark some time next year.
(Stanfield was in Egypt over the weekend following visits to Israel and Jordan. After meeting with Prime Minister Mustapha Khalil in Cairo he told reporters that the Egyptian attitude toward the Embassy move “is one of concern about any such step being taken by Canada.” He said that in the course of his Middle East tour “spokesmen for Arab countries have said publicly they do not approve of this and that they would regard it as a negative step for Canada to take.”)