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Arabs Revive Dialogue with Europeans; Knesset Speaker Urges Negotiations

The European Community and the Arab League have decided to revive the so-called Euro-Arab dialogue, which has been dormant since 1979, when Egypt broke with the league and signed a peace treaty with Israel.

If Shlomo Hillel, speaker of Israel’s Knesset, is heeded, Europe will try to persuade Arab leaders to negotiate with Israel.

Hillel is on a five-day visit here at the invitation of the Belgian Parliament. He said in an interview, published in the weekend edition of the daily La Libre Belgique, that negotiation is the only solution.

“We all must accept that none of us is strong enough to impose all of its terms on the other and none of us is sufficiently weak to let the other impose all of its will,” Hillel said.

He deplored the fact that the recent Arab summit meeting in Algiers urged the Palestinians to continue their uprising instead of seeking a solution.

Hillel will be meeting here with Prime Minister Wilfried Martens and Foreign Minister Leo Tindemans. He is expected to meet as well with officials of the European Community, which is headquartered in Brussels.

The Euro-Arab dialogue was initiated in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 to resolve the crisis created by the Arab oil embargo of the West.

The decision to renew it was made last Friday in Luxembourg. A meeting took place between West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, current chairman of the European Community’s Council of Ministers, and the foreign minister of Syria, Farouk al-Chareh, representing the Arab League.

A joint communique stressed the determination of both blocs “to give a new impetus to the working of the different bodies of the Euro-Arab dialogue.”

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