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U.S. Says There is No Change in Conditions to Recognize the PLO

The State Department said today that there is no change in the conditions it has set for the last 10 years that the Palestine Liberation Organization must meet before the United States will recognize the PLO.

“The U.S. policy since 1975 is to neither recognize nor negotiate with the PLO until it accepts UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and recognizes Israel’s right to exist,” the Department’s deputy spokesman, Charles Redman, said. This policy is the result of and agreement the U.S. made with Israel in 1975.

Redman’s comments came after he was asked about an Israel Radio report that Premier Shimon Peres had agreed to allow the U.S. to drop the requirement that the PLO accept Israel’s right to exist. Peres reportedly said that Israel does not need PLO approval for its existence.

Meanwhile, Redman stressed that the U.S. continues to believe that Palestinians “must be represented in every stage” of the peace process but they must be “acceptable” to all the parties involved. This eliminates members of the PLO from serving as the Palestinian representative in negotiations.

The State Department has confirmed that Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, will be going to Jordan and some other Mideast countries after the summit in Geneva between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. No itinerary was given, apparently for security reasons.

Murphy is scheduled to brief the Mideast members on the summit, but he is also expected to push for progress in the Mideast peace process. Redman said today that Murphy is still willing to meet with a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation if it leads to direct negotiations.

He also said that no solution has been found to provide the “international context” sought by King Hussein of Jordan. “We continue to believe that direct negotiations is the way to proceed, “he said.

Meanwhile, asked about the downing of two Syrian planes by Israel today, Redman said, “We are obviously concerned about this event, but hope it will prove to be an isolated incident. We call upon all sides to exercise restraint.”

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