ROME (Aug. 23)
The view that the PLO is a “political entity” and that Israel and the PLO must mutually recognize each other for there to be peace in the Middle East is gaining wider acceptability in Italian political circles.
Premier Giovani Spadolini said here yesterday, in on address to Italian troops, part of the the international force supervising the evacuation of the PLO terrorists, that a lasting peace in the Mideast requires “a reciprocal recognition between Israel and the PLO” and negotiations involving “all interested parties” that will “give just recognition to Israel’s right to exist within secure and recognized boundaries.”
Spadolini expressed the hope that the agreement worked out for the evacuation of the PLO forces from Beirut would serve as “the prelude” to negotiations that would lead to a “global and just” resolution of the Mideast crisis.
Meanwhile, according to a report in the Rome daily, Corriere Delia Sera, the Italian Ambassador to Lebanon visited PLO chief Yasir Arafat last week to “express Italian appreciation “for his having accepted the evacuation plan worked out by U.S. special envoy Philip Habib.
At the same time, the Italian Socialist Party issued a document confirming “its judgement regarding the character of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.” The document added that “the Italian government must recognize the PLO as an essential political entity” and must “develop appropriate political relations (with the PLO) toward that end.”