Peruvian Paper Rejects Economic Blackmail Efforts by the PLO

A Peruvian newspaper has rejected economic blackmail efforts by the Palestine Liberation Organization and has called for the expulsion of the PLO representative in Lima.

According to the Latin American Affairs department of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Lima daily, Expreso, reacted sharply to a statement by the PLO representative making Arab economic aid to Peru conditional on diplomatic support for the PLO.

Rabbi Morton Rosenthal, head of the ADL’s Latin American Affairs department, who has just returned from a visit to Peru and other Latin American nations, said the newspaper’s stand reflected “not only nationalistic sentiments, but profound concern with the more than 1,000 terrorists acts counted in Peru this year.” Among the targets of terrorist bombers have been the American Embassy and a Jewish day school in Lima.

‘AN OFFENSE TO THE PERUVIAN PEOPLE’

In an editorial (dated Dec. 5) Expreso linked the PLO with “terrorism, violence and death” and commented on PLO representative {SPAN}Issa#{/SPAN} Beseisso’s offer of Arab loans and petrodollar grants to Peru if the country would “assume a favorable position vis a vis the Palestinian cause … as in the case of Brazil.” The editorial asserted that “the recent declaration of Mr. Beseisso … constitutes an offense to the Peruvian people. This type of blackmail is unacceptable.”

The PLO official said in reply to the editorial that according to an Arab League summit in November 1979 “all economic cooperation with any country is conditional upon that country’s recognition and diplomatic support of the Palestinian people.”

Expreso, in calling for the expulsion of Beseisso, said it was “incredible” that Peru’s previous military government had granted the PLO offical the status of a “diplomatic agent.”

Peruvian Foreign Minister Arias Stella has said publicly, however, that the PLO representative does not have diplomatic status and there are no plans to give it to him. He noted that the PLO office had not been authorized by the present government, but by the former military regime. The present democratic government came to power in July 1980.

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