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Greek Objections Delay Eec Approval of Participation in Mfo

November 3, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Objections by the new Greek government, headed by Socialist Premier Andreas Papandreou, prompted the 10-nation European Economic Community (EEC) to postpone an announcement today approving decisions by France, Italy, Britain and Holland to participate in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) which will patrol Sinai after Israel completes its final withdrawal next April.

Papandreou made it clear that while the four EEC member states are free to send military contingents to Sinai on a national basis, Greece would oppose any collective decision. The EEC Charter requires all joint decisions to be unanimous.

The new Greek regime is opposed to the Camp David agreements. Papandreou has invited Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat to Athens and announced that he plans to extend diplomatic status to the PLO there while downgrading Israel’s diplomatic representation which is already below the Ambassadorial level.

French diplomatic sources deplored the lack of unity which, they fear, might injure British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington’s mission to Saudi Arabia beginning tomorrow. Carrington will discuss the Saudis’ eight-point Middle East peace plan — which Israel has categorically rejected — and the EEC’s commitments in the region. He is currently chairman of the EEC’s Council of Ministers.

The present EEC position is to support the Camp David agreements but to seek their eventual enlargement through the application of other formulas, one of which is the plan proposed by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Fahd last August. The EEC believes it should be explored and negotiated after Israel completes its evacuation of Sinai.

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