JERUSALEM (Jun. 14)
Israel lodged a “vigorous protest” with Italy yesterday over the meeting between Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Andreotti and Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat in Rome. The meeting took place when Arafat came to Rome for the funeral of Italian Communist Party leader Enrico Berlinguer.
David Kimche, Director General of the Foreign Ministry, telephoned the Italian Ambassador, Corrado Taliani to convey the protest. He told the envoy that such meetings were tantamount to artificial respiration” for an organization that has been beaten on the battlefield, is in internal disarray and no longer repressents anyone.
According to Kimche they “only encourage the PLO and Arafat to continue their policies because such meetings legitimize the PLO’s terror and its active anti-peace policies.”
The protest was delivered by telephone because the Foreign Ministry has been shut down by a strike for the past three days and is surrounded by picket lines.