INTRODUCTION: In Lebanon, the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP) celebrated its twelfth anniversary with a rally in Beirut on Saturday (21 February).
CU Palestinian and Lebanese flags
SV PAN Audience chanting
SV PAN Delegates, including PDFLP leader Nayef Hawatmeh and PLO leader Yasser Arafat
SV Arafat handed red carnation
SV Arafat speaking PAN TO newsmen (2 shots)
GV Delegates applaud and embrace Arafat
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In Lebanon, the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP) celebrated its twelfth anniversary with a rally in Beirut on Saturday (21 February). Addressing the rally were PDFLP leader Nayef Hawatmeh, and the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat.
SYNOPSIS: The Palestine and Lebanese national flags hung side by side over the PDFLP anniversary rally, symbolising the organisation's aim to establish a Palestinian state. In a symbolic act, Mr. Arafat was given a red carnation before he addressed the anniversary gathering. His speech echoed many of the points Mr. Hawatmeh made in his address to the rally.
Mr. Arafat attacked Egypt and the United States for allegedly selling out the Palestinians, and he rejected suggestions of forming a Palestinian government in exile. Egypt's President Anwar Sadat proposed a government in exile on Sunday (15 February). President Sadat hoped his suggestion might contribute to an end of Palestinian activities against Israel and Israeli actions against the Palestinians, and create the favourable atmosphere needed for their mutual recognition.
In his anniversary address, Mr. Arafat also called on European leaders to recognise the PLO and help the Palestinian cause. At their summit in Venice last year, the heads of the European Economic Community member states suggested, for the first time, that the PLO be involved in the Middle East peace process, but Europe has so far refused to recognise the PLO.
Mr. Arafat's speech was well received by the delegates to the PDFLP rally.