PARIS (Jan. 11)
Four Knesset members, here for an encounter Friday with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization, met Wednesday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Esmet Abdel Meguid.
The Egyptian official, who attended a conference on chemical weapons here this week, said he would do everything possible to encourage an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
The encounter with the PLO members will take place during a public session of an international symposium organized by a French peace committee.
The Knesset members participating are Ora Namir and Arieh Eliav of the Labor Party, Yair Tsaban of Mapam and Shulamit Aloni of the Citizens Rights Movement.
About 30 right-wing Knesset members, who tried to prevent their colleagues’ departure for the Paris meeting, are demanding the four be prosecuted when they return to Israel.
Israelis are forbidden by law to have any contact with the PLO. But the law has rarely been invoked against Knesset members, who enjoy immunity when acting within the framework of their duties.
Reports from Jerusalem indicated that the Knesset narrowly rejected a bill Wednesday to allow such prosecution.
The symposium the Israelis and PLO representatives are attending will be addressed by prominent French political figures and the head of the French Jewish community.
They include Simone Veil, former president of the Parliament of Europe, who is Jewish; Marie-Claire Mendes-France, widow of the late French-Jewish Premier Pierre Mendes-France; Claude Cheysson, outgoing European Community commissioner for Mediterranean affairs; and Theo Klein, president of CRIF, the umbrella organization of the French Jewry.
Another speaker will be Gerald Kaufmann, the British Labor Party’s shadow foreign secretary.
The Israeli lawmakers were received at the Elysee Palace Tuesday night by President Francois Mitterrand’s chief of staff, Jean-Louis Bianco.