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Mubarak Welcomes Arafat’s Statement and Calls on U.S. to Open Dialogue with PLO Leaders

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt today welcomed Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat’s declaration accepting “all UN resolutions relevant to the Palestinian question” and called upon the United States to “take a step forward” towards the PLO in view of this development.

Mubarak, who was speaking in Cairo at the end of the ceremonies marking the 30th anniversary of the 1952 revolution which overthrew King Farouk, called Arafat’s declaration “a good step forward in the direction of peace” and urged Washington to start a dialogue with the PLO leadership.

Practically the entire French news media today hailed Arafat’s statement as a great step forward which, most commentators said, might open the way to a Palestinian-American dialogue.

But Arafat’s statement was strongly denounced by Ambassador Meir Rosenne of Israel who termed the statement “a propaganda maneuver trying to make him pass off as a moderate.” Rosenne declared: we shall never negotiate with this terrorist organization but only with the representatives of the autonomous councils of Judea, Samaria and Gaza under the Camp David agreements.”

WILL PRESS FOR NEW UN RESOLUTION

Nevertheless, the French Foreign Ministry said today that France and Egypt will submit in the coming days a new resolution to the United Nations Security Council and probably also to the General Assembly based on what the Ministry said was a new situation. Foreign Ministry sources said Arafat’s statement served to “concretize an already existing situation.”

Hani al-Hassan, an advisor to Arafat, was quoted in the Beirut weekly, Monday Morning, as saying that the PLO was hoping, with French support, to get a new UN Security Council resolution that recognized the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and statehood.

MUBARAK INVITES FOUR POMINENT JEWS

Mubarak, who in his speech today charged Israel with responsibility for the Lebanese crisis, invited, however, four prominent Jews to Cairo for top level consultations. The four are former World Jewish Congress presidents Nahum Goldmann and Philip Klutznick, and former French Premier Pierre Mendes-France, the three signers of the Paris Declaration which called upon Israel and the Palestinians to mutually recognize each other and open peace negotiations; and the current WJC president, Edgar Bronfman.

Bronfman was apparently invited for having said in a speech at the WJC Executive meeting here earlier this month that the Palestinian rights should be recognized, although he and the Executive dissociated themselves from the Paris Declaration.

Mubarak said he wanted to pay tribute to the four men’s “spirit of humanity and courage which contributed to the peace process.” The Egyptian Ambassadors to Paris and Washington will forward Mubarak’s invitations to the four, Egyptian sources here said.

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