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Carrington Seeks to Reassure Jewish Community of Britain

July 23, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Lord Carrington, the Foreign Secretary, has said that Britain “has every intention of seeking and maintaining the closest ties of friendship and understanding with Israel, both people and government.” The assurance was given in a letter to Greville Janner, MP, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, in reply to a resolution handed in at the end of the anti-Palestine Liberation Organization rally in Trafalgar Square on July 5.

Carrington said that differences over how a secure future for Israel can best be achieved “will not impair our friendship for Israel and our fundamental commitment to her future. As far as the PLO is concerned, there is no question of our encouraging the organization in policies hostile to Israel. We condemn references in their Charter which call for the destruction of Israel. We also condemn their failure to renounce violence.”


Referring to the declaration the European Economic Community ministers adopted last year in Venice, which called for the PLO to be associated with the Mideast peace process, Carrington said that declaration “makes clear that the renunciation of force by all the parties is a basic element in the search for

peace in the Middle East. We do not give official recognition to the PLO. However, we shall continue to talk to them in order to influence them in the direction of a negotiated peace settlement involving acceptance of Israel’s rights, just as Israel must accept Palestinian rights.”

The letter continued: “The position on ministerial dealings with the PLO has not changed. There are no plans for me or any other minister to meet representatives of the PLO, but I have said that I would be prepared to do so if I thought I would help the cause of Middle East peace. My two predecessors as president of the European Council of Ministers have both met representatives of the PLO.

The government’s aim remains a comprehensive peace settlement negotiated between the parties which will enable all parties to the Arab-Israel dispute to live together in peace and security.”

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