Socialists Favor Reagan, Fez Plans As the Basis for Mideast Peace

The Socialist International last night called for a solution to the Middle East problem on the basis of the American peace plan presented by President Reagan September 1 and the eight principles of the declaration on the Israeli-Arab conflict issued by the Arab League conference in Fez, Morocco.

The Fez declaration included calls for the withdrawal of Israel from “all Arab territories occupied in 1967″ including Jerusalem, the dismantling of settlements “established by Israel on the Arab territories after 1967,” “the reaffirmation of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination … under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole and legitimate representative,” and the “establishment of an independent Palestinian state” with Jerusalem as its capital.

The Socialist International’s special committee for the Middle East also decided to empower Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria to explore the possibilities offered by the Reagan plan. Kreisky, a vice president of the International, is scheduled to meet Reagan in Washington next month.

The International also decided to send a mission to the Mideast next month. It will visit Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. Another mission will visit Tunis, at an unspecified later date, and confer with PLO leader Yasir Arafat.

French Socialist sources said the mood at yesterday’s meeting was “very different” from that at previous sessions and that most of the delegates expressed concern at what some said was Israel’s reluctance to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. Even traditionally pro-Israeli delegations, such as the Dutch and West Germans, joined in demanding a speedy Israeli withdrawal.

French Socialist Party Deputy Secretary General Jacques Huntziger told the press after the session that the demand for an evacuation of troops from Lebanon referred “to all foreign troops stationed there” and specifically to Israel forces.

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