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German Parliamentarian Under Fire for Mideast Plan Given to Arafat

August 13, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Juergen Moellman, a foreign affairs expert of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), is back from a touchy and controversial trip to the Middle East during which he had two long meetings with Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat in Beirut and Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser Kaddour in Damascus. Moellman, a member of West Germany’s Parliament is a confidant of Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher who is himself a member of the FDP. The FDP is the minority coalition partner of the ruling Social Democratic Party.

In his talks with Arafat, Moellman proposed an eight-point program which was understood to include a guarantee by Germany for the creation of a Palestinian state; the establishment of West German-Palestinian diplomatic relations; the renunciation by the PLO of terrorism inside Israel and the administered territories; the PLO’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist with secure borders, namely, within the 1967 borders: and an appeal to Israel to recognize in principle the PLO.

Moellman was also understood to have proposed that Germany and the European Economic Community should exercise an influence on both sides in order to achieve a lasting Mideast peace and to initiate negotiations between Israel and the PLO.


When the news about Moellman’s program reached Bonn from the Mideast, the Foreign Ministry immediately declared that the FDP parliamentarian was on a private mission and acting on his own, sanctioned neither by his party nor by the German government. A Foreign Ministry spokesman affirmed that West Germany had no plan of the Kind Moellman discussed with Arafat and that in fact Moellman had not informed the Foreign Ministry of his intentions before he left.

However, according to Palestinian sources in Beirut, Moellman’s eight-point program had Genscher’s support. Genscher is due to visit Beirut Aug. 28.’

Moellman’s plan was under sharp attack in the press. In addition, the opposition Christian Democrats charged that Moellman had damaged Bonn’s reputation and demanded that Genscher muzzle the “political youngster.” A spokesman for the Christian Democrats referred to Moellman’s plan as a scandal and called on the government to issue a strong statement condemning the parliamentarian who has been in office three years.

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