MADRID (Nov. 13)
The Socialist International, a body composed of Socialist parties in some 60 countries, is studying the possibility of an appeal to Jordon’s King Hussein and to the Palestinian population on the West Bank to join the peace talks and sign a peace agreement with Israel.
This step, which breaks with previous Socialist leanings on behalf of a “Palestinian solution” was decided last night when the President of the Socialist International, Willy Brandt of West Germany, and the Vice President. Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky; met in Madrid with Shimon Peres, chairman of Israel’s opposition Labor Party and the Egyptian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Butros Ghali. Brandt and Kreisky accepted the proposal to study the” Jordanian option” as a possible lead to a compromise settlement in the Middle East.
The four men are in Madrid for the Socialist International general conference which opened here today attended by more than 650 delegates. In the post, such Socialist gatherings often produced anti Israel resolutions, including calls for associating the Palestinians, and especially the Palestine Liberation Organization, in any search for a peace settlement.
Socialist sources said that Kreisky, who in the past always advocated a “Palestinian solution,” come out last night in favor of a study of a Jordanian plan such as Israel’s Labor Party favors.
Kreisky met lost month in Amman with King Husein of Jordan and reportedly was deeply impressed by him. Kreisky was quoted as describing the Jordanian monarch and his Kingdom as “on island of stability” in the Middle East.
INFLUENCED BY REAGAN’S ELECTION
Former Israeli Police Minister Shlomo Hillel, who attended the meeting in Brandt’s personal suite at his Madrid hotel last night, started work this morning with Ghali on a draft project. If approved by the Socialist leaders it will be presented to the Socialist plenary this week and would then be issued as a direct call to Jordan and the Palestinians.
The Socialist leaders questioned by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency privately admitted that Ronald Reagan’s election and his own avowed preference for a Jordanian solution influenced their decision.
The West European Socialist parties which for the last few years have gone from one electoral defeat to another, would also like to boost Israel’s Labor Party’s chances in the parliamentary elections next year, Peres, a Socialist International Vice President, was one of the few Socialist leaders received in private audience yesterday by King Juan Carlos of Spain. The King showed a great interest in the Middle East and seemed well informed on Israeli affairs.
The Israeli delegation also plans to raise the issue of Soviet Jewry during the forthcoming debates. One of the international sessions will be devoted to human rights and the Israelis plan to ask the conference to launch on appeal to the Soviet Union calling on it to respect its commitments and the Helsinki Convention on European Security and Cooperation.