BRUSSELS (Jul. 1)
The European Community has affirmed more explicitly than ever its recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people.
At its summit meeting in Dublin last week, the heads of the 12 E.C. member states condemned Israel for “violations of human rights” and reiterated their support of an international conference for Middle East peace under U.N. auspices, with the participation of the PLO.
The summit was followed almost immediately by an official visit to PLO headquarters in Tunisia by Baron Enrique Crespo, president of the European Parliament, the E.C. legislative body.
The baron, a Spanish Socialist, was responding to an invitation from PLO chief Yasir Arafat.
The growing comity between the E.C. and the PLO contrasts with the increasingly strained relations between Israel and the United States over Israel’s refusal to accept the American formula for peace talks with the Palestinians.
Arafat reportedly praised the E.C. summit statement as “global, balanced and thorough.” He also extolled the “role of balance and peace” played by the European Parliament in the Middle East dispute.
WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAELI FORCES URGED
Crespo stressed that an end to repression and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territories have been urged several times by the European Parliament, the E.C. legislative body that meets in Strasbourg, France.
“The chairman of the European Parliament hopes that Israel will finally give a positive answer to the European position adopted in Dublin,” Crespo said in a written statement.
“All parties concerned must understand that peace doesn’t come from armed violence,” he added, nor is it “by violating human rights that this grave problem will be solved.”
Crespo and Arafat reportedly agreed on the need for more substantial and direct aid to the Palestinians in the territories and on improve conditions for the entry of Palestinian agricultural products into the European market.
Arafat seems to be angling for an official invitation to the European Parliament, which so far has eluded him. He went to Strasbourg in September 1988, but as a guest of only the Socialist faction, the largest in the Parliament.