BRUSSELS (Oct. 2)
The European Economic Community (EEC) today vigorously condemned Israel’s air raid on Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Tunisia yesterday and expressed hope that “this new escalation of violence will not jeopardize the current effort aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict.”
The statement was issued by the Foreign Ministers of the 10 EEC member-states and those of Spain and Portugal which will be joining the Common Market next year. The ministers are attending a one-day meeting in Luxembourg. Diplomatic sources there said Foreign Minister Roland Dumas of France initiated the condemnatory statement. France was the first European country to denounce the raid.
It deplored the Israeli attack as “a new element in the chain of violence and counter-violence in the Middle East.” While also condemning the murder of three Israelis by Palestinian terrorists in Larnaca, Cyprus September 25, the EEC ministers maintained that that crime did not justify the “pointless” Israeli raid in Tunisia,” a violation of the sovereignty of a friendly, peaceful and moderate country.”
In another development, the Ministers decided to authorize the current President of the EEC, Foreign Minister Jacques Poos of Luxembourg, to receive a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation for talks on the future of the peace process in the Middle East. The delegation is scheduled to visit London first at the invitation of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Earlier this year it visited France and Italy.
Thatcher’s invitation drew a sharp protest from Israel because the delegation includes two senior officials of the PLO. Thatcher will be the first Western Prime Minister to receive members of the PLO.