The Bush administration offered the Palestinians an upgrade in their diplomatic status last year, the PLO envoy claimed. “When I first arrived here in November, both the State Department and the White House told me, ‘Afif, we’re thinking of upgrading the PLO mission here in Washington, giving you almost governmental treatment,’ ” Palestine Liberation Organization envoy Afif Safieh said April 20 in an address at Georgetown University. The Bush administration wanted to change his status from PLO envoy to Palestinian Authority envoy, Safieh said, but he rejected the offer because the Palestinian Authority represents only residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while the PLO represents Palestinians everywhere. The White House and State Department did not return requests for comment.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.