BRUSSELS (Jun. 16)
Belgian Foreign Minister Mark Eyskens has put off a delegation of the Euro-Arab Parliamentary Association that is urging Belgium to implement a decision made two years ago to upgrade the status of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Brussels.
Eyskens said fellow members so the European Community, “because of the sensitivity of this issue in the post-Gulf war period.”
The PLO supported Iraq in the Persian Gulf conflict.
The Euro-Arab delegation pointed out that the Belgian Parliament voted in December 1989 to upgrade the PLO office, which functions in Brussels as a “liaison and information bureau” without diplomatic immunity.
PLO supporters are asking that it be given the same status are the PLO office in Paris, which is officially recognized as a “general delegation of Palestine in France.”
The Euro-Arab group also urged the E.C. to implement its decision to send a representative to the Israeli-administered terriers. Its purpose would be to monitor European aid to the Palestinian population.
The E.C., which inaugurated a program of direct economic aid to the Palestinian in 1987, recently announced a new $12 million grant to improve their economic and social conditions.
The Israeli government has been reluctant to allow the E.C. to the E.C. already has an ambassador in Tel Aviv.
The issue seemed to be resolved at Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy’ discussions with three E.C. foreign ministers in Paris earlier this month.
Israel was said to have agreed to an E.C. representative whose activities would be confined to “humanitarian and technical” matters.
But details have yet to be worked out between the Israelis and Abel Matutes, the E.C.’s commissioner for Mediterranean affairs.
Matutes, who is Spanish, is expected to visit Israel next month.