Arafat Might Visit Cairo

PLO chief Yassir Arafat will visit here next month, it was reported today in the Egyptian news daily Al Gomhuriyya. But a source at the Foreign Ministry told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that no such visit had been scheduled, but added that the PLO chief “would be welcome here at any time.”

The report cited a Palestinian official in Caire as saying that Arafat would visit Cairo following the upcoming meeting of the Palestine National Council scheduled for February 14 in Algeria. Among the items on the Council’s agenda is the restoration of PLO relations with Egypt, the official reportedly said.

The PLO had announced during a recent meeting of its Council in Damascus that resumption of relations with Egypt could be achieved without Egypt’s reneging on the Camp David accords. Rumors of a rapprochement between Egypt and the PLO have been rife over the past few months, but have generally come from Palestinian sources.

BAGHDAD READY TO TALK TO CAIRO

In related news, Iraqi Deputy Minister Tarez Aziz was quoted today as saying he was prepared to discuss the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between his country and Egypt.

In an interview with the semi-official news daily Al Ahram, Aziz said: “I am personally prepared to meet (Foreign Minister) Kamal Hassan Ali or (Minister of State for Foreign Affairs) Boutros Ghali in Cairo or Baghdad to hold direct talks on this issue.” He added: “As an Arab, I say the resumption of Cairo-Baghdad diplomatic relations should be made now.”

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