WASHINGTON (Oct. 31)
Secretary of State George Shultz ruled out again today the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Middle East peace negotiations as long as it continues to commit acts of violence against Israel.
“The PLO has been involved in recent weeks in acts of terror and violence,” Shultz said at a press conference. “I don’t see how those who are perpetrating terror and violence against one of the parties deserve a place at the peace table.”
Shultz said that those who should be participants in the negotiations should be “ready to sit down with Israel and try to work out” a peaceful solution based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.
Shultz said he expected the Middle East to be discussed at the summit conference in Geneva between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, although he did not know how much time will be devoted to it. He said that the U.S. would stress “the way to go in the Middle East is not a big conference but direct negotiations between Israel and Israel’s neighbors.”
He noted that attempts are now being made to find a way to define the “appropriate international auspices” that King Hussein of Jordan requires. But Shultz added that “the name of the game is direct negotiations, that’s what we are seeking.”
Shultz stressed that human rights will be emphasized in Geneva. “We insist that the Helsinki accords and other international commitments be observed,” he said. Asked about reports from West Germany today that Soviet Prisoner of Conscience Anatoly Shcharansky would be released in an exchange of East-West spies, Shultz replied: “I don’t think there is anything to it.”