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Council of Europe Panel Will Hold Meeting in Jerusalem, Despite Pressure to Cancel It

The Political Affairs Committee of the 21-member states Council of Europe announced today that it will hold one of its next sessions in Jerusalem but added that this does “not mean an endorsement of the Israeli government’s position on the Golan and Jerusalem.”

The chairman of the Committee, British Labor MP Tom Urwin announced that the decision to meet in Jerusalem, probably next May, was final. The session will be held at the Knesset.

The Council of Ministers, representing the member governments, appealed last month to the Parliamentary Assembly, an advisory body, to cancel its Jerusalem meeting. Urwin said today that several foreign governments and leaders, including King Hassan of Morocco, acting in his capacity as President of the Moslem “Al Quds” Committee, the Arab League body dealing with Jerusalem, has also appeal ed to the European Parliamentarians to cancel their meeting in Israel.

Urwin said “The Jerusalem meeting will give the committee members the opportunity to express their views freely, in the presence of Israeli observers, on the issues which unfortunately continue to divide Israel and its neighbors.”