MONTREAL (Jul. 29)
Secretary of State for External Affairs Marc McGuigan said that despite the document signed by PLO chief Yasir Arafat, which was touted by Rep. Paul McCloskey (R. Calif.) as indicating the PLO’s readiness to accept the existence of Israel, the PLO has not changed its attitude toward Israel.
McGuigan said in a television interview yesterday that he had asked the PLO for “clarifications” regarding the document and had received a response, “The clarifications don’t amount to any change of attitude by the PLO. They do not renounce (their attitude toward) the destruction of the State of Israel,” he said.
Asked if Canada would recognize the PLO, he said “They are not a state we should recognize and some PLO factions continue to be terrorist organizations.” Queried about contacts with the PLO, the Minister said: “Contacts with the PLO were made in the past only when it was necessary to find out what they thought about, a certain question.”
Meanwhile, McGuigan rejected a request from Marcel Prud-Homme, a Liberal Party member of the House of Commons from Montreal, that Canada recall its Ambassador to Israel, Theodore Arcan, for consultations about the shelling of the Canadian Embassy in Beirut by Israeli forces and about an incident when Israeli soldiers searched Arcan. Prud’-Homme also called for sanctions against Israel. McGuigan told the House that Israel has apologized for both incidents.