GENEVA (Mar. 13)
The Palestine Liberation Organization is spreading the word that it will have nothing to do with the American peace initiative in the Middle East initiated by Secretary of State George Shultz.
The PLO’s foreign policy spokesman, Farouk kaddoumi, conveyed that message to Swiss Secretary of State Edouard Brunner at a meeting here last week. Later Kaddoumi told a radio reporter he found Brunner very sympathetic.
Kaddoumi has visited Austria, France, Britain and West Germany to outline the PLO’s position and exchange views. Foreign Office spokesman Michel Pache said the PLO had requested the meeting with Brunner, which the Swiss apparently had hoped would not become public knowledge.
PLO chief Yasir Arafat, in an interview published Saturday in The New York Times, said he rejected the Shultz plan, because it rules out PLO participation in peace negotiations. He said he no longer agrees to the idea of having the Palestinians included in a Jordanian delegation for talks with Israel.
“Mr. Shultz said he is coming to solve the Palestinian problem, the whole issue between the Palestinians and the Israelis. He contacted everybody except the Palestinians,” Arafat was quoted as telling Times columnist Anthony Lewis and correspondent Youssef Ibrahim at the interview in Tunis.
He admitted he had instructed Palestinian leaders not to meet Shultz, because he objected to what he said were American attempts to select Palestinians for a dialogue. U.S. policy is not to recognize or negotiate with the PLO.