West German Government Confirms It Rejected Israeli Appeal to Close the PLO Office in Bonn

The West German government confirmed today that it has rejected on Israeli appeal to close the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Bonn or, at least to impose restrictions on its activities. Government sources here said the rejection was conveyed to Israel through diplomatic channels.

They reiterated that the PLO representatives in Bonn were not recognized since West Germany extends official recognition only to sovereign states, not organizations. However, the sources observed that the PLO office played a role in maintaining contact essential to Bonn’s Middle East diplomacy.

They also noted that the PLO is in virtual control of parts of Beirut and that no diplomatic mission to the Lebanese capital was feasible without regular contacts with the PLO

The Israeli request for the closure of the PLO office in Bonn was made after an Israeli diplomat, Yaacov Bar-Simantov, was murdered in Paris on April 3 by an unidentified assailant. Israel insists the PLO was responsible for the killing.

Meanwhile PLO chief Yasir Arafat said on a West German television interview today that the PLO would welcome on Israeli military operation in Lebanon. “Let them come, we are waiting for them,” Arafat said. He contended that Israel’s armed forces are “practically an American army” because the U.S. provides Israel with whatever it wants, including sophisticated weaponry.

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