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Ajcommittee Visits PLO Office for First Time in Its Annual Meeting

Some of the delegates in town for last week’s American Jewish Committee convention had a new stop on their busy agenda: the Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Each year, AJCommittee delegates split into groups and visit embassies to meet with foreign dignitaries on issues of Jewish concern.

But this year — the first AJCommittee annual meeting since last September’s Israeli-PLO accord – marked the group’s first official trip to the Palestine Affairs Center, the PLO’s downtown headquarters here.

The group of about a dozen AJCommittee members met last Friday with Hasan Abdel Rahman the PLO’s Washington representative, for about an hour and a quarter, and discussed the peace process, the Arab boycott and other issues.

Overall, “we felt he was presenting a strong case for Palestinian involvement in the peace process,” said Jason Isaacson, AJCommittee’s Washington representative, who participated in the meeting.

While Rahman’s answers to some of the AJCommittee members’ questions were not “in every respect satisfactory,” the AJCommittee group appreciated his willingness to discuss the issues, Isaacson said.

“It was a very worthwhile meeting,” Isaacson said, adding that the group would hold future meetings with PLO officials.

“We are an organization that is strongly supportive of the peace process, and we feel that it is in the best interests of the peace process to urge the parties themselves and other countries to push the process forward,” said Isaacson, who noted that Rahman had attended the AJCommittee dinner the previous night along with other diplomats.

AJCommittee members also visited the embassies of Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan for the first time during an annual meeting, although the jordanian ambassador had previously addressed an AJCommittee luncheon.

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