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Socialist International Trumpets U.N. Peace Conference on Mideast

The Socialist International called on all parties to the Middle East conflict Wednesday to take part in a peace conference under U.N. auspices.

The summons was issued at the Socialist International Congress in Stockholm, which brought together the Socialist and Social Democratic parties from 81 countries.

The congress, which ended Thursday, was boycotted by the Israel Labor Party, led by Finance Minister Shimon Peres, because representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization had been invited to the plenary session as observers.

Israel, in any event, has consistently rejected any international peace conference, pushing instead for Palestinian elections to be followed by bilateral negotiations over the future of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Socialist International’s Middle East Committee plans to hold a “hearing” on the Arab-Israeli conflict in Brussels with “all parties concerned,” provided it can get them to sit down together.

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