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Thatcher to Discuss Mideast at Meeting with Reagan in Washington

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Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will hold talks on the Middle East with President Reagan when she visits him in Washington later this month, she told Parliament today. She said she believed that the Camp David peace agreements had been “a very great step forward” and expected that Reagan would be considering “how to take it further.”

Mrs. Thatcher, answering questions from a number of pro-Arab MPs who have just visited the West Bank, fended off strident criticism of Israel saying: “It is absolutely vital that if there is going to be a settlement of the great problems in the area one side should honor the right of Israel to live behind secure borders and in peace and the other should honor the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. One of the problems has been to get these two things going forward together.”

After declaring that Britain recognized Israel’s right to exist “behind secure boundaries,” she added “We have never recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole representative of the Palestine people because of its relations with terrorist activity.”

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