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Swiss Upgrade Plo’s Status

Switzerland has conferred recognition on the Palestine Liberation Organization as an “official interlocutor,” a designation that apparently will enable the government to establish a communications channel with the Tunis-based organization.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the move will “ease and increase” Swiss contacts with the PLO, which until now was accredited to the United Nations in Geneva, but not recognized by the Swiss government.

Analysts say the move comes against the background of Swiss eagerness to host future sessions of ongoing Middle East peace talks.

PLO chief Yasir Arafat expressed satisfaction with the Swiss move, according to a statement issued by the group here.