The Leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat, has reportedly confirmed that the P.L.O.?
The Leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat, has reportedly confirmed that the P.L.O. will soon open an office in Lisbon as a first step towards early recognition by Portugal. The report was carried by the Portuguese news Agency ANOP at the end of a two day visit by the Palestinian Leader.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Arafat had come to Portugal for the opening sessions of a five day world conference on solidarity with the Arab people and Palestine.
At a news conference called to discuss the results of his visit Mr Arafat said he'd made progress towards winning further recognition for the P.L.O. His optimism followed talks with portuguese President Antonio Ramalho Eanes. It was the Palestinian Leader's first meeting with the head of state of a North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) member. Mr Arafat also met with the Portuguese Foreign Minister and the 19-man military council of the revolution.
While speaking to reporters the Palestinian Leader declined a direct answer when asked whether Portugal was likely to recognise the P.L.O. He would only say his talks had been successful and constructive. However, during separate interview with the Portuguese news agency ANOP, Mr Arafat was quoted as saying he was hopeful of early Portuguese recognition, and wanted a PLO office established in Lisbon as soon as possible.
According to ANOP Mr Arafat said the PLO representative in Madrid would maintain contacts with the Portuguese authorities on the establishment of a Lisbon office. The reports of closer ties with portugal came as Israeli Prime Minister Begin made it clear he would not negotiate with the PLO. He said he would never sit down with people he termed murderers. Mr Arafat has accused Israel and the United States of trying to make 1979 the year of PLO liquidation.