Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

British Officials in Contact with PLO

September 7, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The recent meeting in Damascus between the British Ambassador to Syria and a high Palestine Liberation Organization official was only one of several such contacts between British representatives and the PLO, the Foreign Office told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Other meetings had taken place in New York and in London, but all were below ministerial level. They did not imply British recognition of the PLO, a spokesman said.

The Foreign Office was also commenting on the report that Dr. David Owen, the Foreign Secretary, would meet PLO chief Yasir Arafat in Beirut on Oct. 13. The report, on Baghdad Radio, was categorically denied. The Foreign Office said it had no knowledge of a projected visit to Lebanon by Owen.

It remains to be seen, however, whether there will be further British contacts with the PLO at the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly. Owen is expected to arrive in New York on Sept. 22.

Meanwhile, no new date has yet been set for Owen’s visit to Israel, originally to have taken place at the beginning of the summer. The foreign Office denied that the cancellation in any way signified a change in relations between the two countries, saying that the original date had not been convenient and that it had been cancelled by mutual agreement between Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Owen. Talks had subsequently taken place on a new date, but none had yet been fixed.

The next opportunity for a meeting between the Israeli and British Foreign Ministers will now be at the United Nations later this month.

Recommended from JTA