BONN (Apr. 17)
A delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization is currently visiting Bonn in an attempt to influence public opinion in favor of an anti-lsrael initiative by the European Economic Community (EEC), spear headed by the West German government. The move would legitimize the PLO and give it a role in the Middle East peace process.
The delegation met yesterday with members of the three political parties represented in the Bundestag. It was the first such meeting ever held here end it drew a strong protest from the Vice President of the Bundestag, Anne-Marie Renger who is a prominent member of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Renger stressed that the meeting was not approved by the SPD’s parliamentary faction although some members of that party along with pro-PLO members of the Free Democratic Party and the opposition Christian Democratic Party were responsible for the invitation to the PLO delegates.
SAYS EEC INITIATIVE IS ESSENTIAL
According to the participants in the meeting the PLO group focussed on the situation in the israel occupied territories and the fate of the Palestinians. Last night, the head of the delegation, Khaled Al Hassan, told a selected group of reporters invited to a press conference that the EEC initiative was essential in order to achieve progress toward peace in the Middle East and avoid serious consequences for Europe.
Hassan clearly sought to drive a wedge between the West European countries and their American ally. He contended that the U.S. always profited from the Arab-Israeli conflict while Europe and Japan have been the losers. He argued that this situation made it necessary for Europe to take immediate concrete steps in support of the creation of a Palestinian state. The EEC countries mainly West Germany and France, reportedly are seeking to alter Security Council Resolution 242 to define the Palestinians as a political entity rather than as refugees.
When a reporter asked Hassan about PLO chief Yasir Arafat’s latest call for the destruction of Israel, in an interview published in the South American newspaper El Mundo, the PLO spokesman claimed the interview was a fabrication of “Zionist propaganda. “However, he repeatedly evaded questions as to whether the PLO might eventually recognize Israel’s right to exist.