Simone Veil Approached by Arabs to Mediate Between Plo, Israel

The Arab League has approached Simone Veil several times recently to act as “mediator” between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, well-informed sources here said over the weekend.

They said that Veil, leader of the Liberal group in the Strasbourg-based Parliament of Europe, disclosed these approaches last week at a meeting of the group in Aarhus, Denmark.

Veil, a French Jew and survivor of Auschwitz, is a former president of the 12-nation parliament and a former French Cabinet minister. She reportedly told her colleagues in Aarhus that she would not reject a mediating role, but thinks the timing is inappropriate for several reasons.

Veil has strongly opposed the invitation European Socialists extended to PLO chief Yasir Arafat to visit the parliament in Strasbourg next week.

The Socialists, with 165 deputies, are the largest single bloc in the parliament. They will be joined by several other factions for their meeting with Arafat Tuesday evening at the Palais de l’Europe.

The Liberals officially will boycott the meeting. But several Liberal parliamentarians from Spain, Portugal and Denmark are forming a “dissident” delegation to meet the PLO chief.

They argue that “no occasion should be missed to talk with PLO leaders, despite the grave reproaches which can be addressed to this organization,” a parliament source said.

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