Mitterrand May Meet with Arafat

French President Francois Mitterrand may meet with Yasir Arafat next month in Cairo, according to the second highest-ranking official of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In a telephone interview from Tunis, Salah Khalaf, also known as Abu Iyad, told the Arabic program of Radio France Internationale that there would be a meeting between Mitterrand and the PLO leader “I think next month in Cairo.

“We hope that a meeting in Paris will take place on the first occasion, but the preliminary meeting will be in Cairo,” he was quoted as saying.

A spokeswoman for the French president declined to make any comment on the report. “To the best of my knowledge,” she said, “nothing has been set.”

However, French officials are not ruling out the possibility of such a meeting. Mitterrand himself said in January that he was not opposed to the principle of an encounter with Arafat. “It is just a matter of opportunity.” he said.

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