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National Association of Arab-american Leaders Meet with Ford

June 30, 1975
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A delegation of 11 leaders of the National Association of Arab-Americans visited with President Ford at the White House last Thursday and posed with the President in a group picture after presenting him with a request that he recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization. The meeting, which lasted about 20 minutes, marked the first time that an Arab-American group has been at the White House since the Six-Day War, according to the visitors. Edward Howar, the Association’s president, said “We are behind him (Ford) 100 percent,” in a comment to newsmen.

In a statement left at the White House made available to the media, the visitors said “the bold and courageous steps you (Ford) have taken in reassessing our policies and your fair and even-handed approach to the problems of the (Middle East) area can only enhance the United States’ image and further improve our relations with traditional allies.”

The request for recognition of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and a condemnation of Israel for attacks on terrorist bases in Lebanon were contained in a statement given to the President by Howar. The Association’s statement also said that “a fair and equal policy” was most important for all the peoples of the area “at this time.”

The delegation said it was “pleased” by Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s statements in a speech in Atlanta last Tuesday, adding “we concur wholeheartedly” with Kissinger’s views for the need of a settlement which “is required to protect the fundamental national interests of the United States.” They said the settlement is to be based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.

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