In Iraq, Arab ministers opposed to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty launched fresh efforts to heal a major rift in their rank on Thursday, (29 March) after Saudi Arabia flatly rejected Palestinian demands for tough penalties against Egypt and the United States.
SV: Palestine Liberation Organisation spokesman speaking in Arabic and interpreter speaking in English.
INTERPRETER: "America wants us to be slaves".
INTERPRETER: "We shall resist this."
INTERPRETER: "The hopes of the Arab nation --
INTERPRETER: "The end of his speech....."
INTERPRETER: "The Palestinian delegation....
INTERPRETER: "Until a definite resolution has been taken.....
INTERPRETER: "...the Arab nations could face...."
INTERPRETER: "the dangers which are coming from abroad."
INTERPRETER: "And the Syrian delegation has declared.....
INTERPRETER: "its withdrawal.....
INTERPRETER: "...as a sort of solidarity...
INTERPRETER: "...With the Palestinian delegation. Thank you."
According to Reuters news agency the Saudi Arabian position has put a brake on PLO and hardline Arab efforts towards tougher sanctions, such as Iraq's call for the withdrawal of Arab funds fro Egyptian banks. Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal issued a statement on Thursday rejecting PLO demands for Arab states to break diplomatic ties with Egypt and halt economic aid. He also said the ministers had no mandate to go beyond the relatively mild sanctions against Egypt agreed at an Arab summit also held in Baghdad last November.
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Background: In Iraq, Arab ministers opposed to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty launched fresh efforts to heal a major rift in their rank on Thursday, (29 March) after Saudi Arabia flatly rejected Palestinian demands for tough penalties against Egypt and the United States. Palestine leader Yasser Arafat stayed away from the Arab League conference in Baghdad, which was convened to implement ways of punishing Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for signing a peace treaty with Israel. The previous day (28 March) Mr. Arafat and delegations from Syria and the Libyan Jamahiriyah walked out of the meeting in protest at Saudi Arabia's refusal to endorse measures which included an oil embargo against Egypt and the United States. On Thursday Mr. Arafat was represented by the head of the political department of the PLO, Farouk Khaddoumi -- and at a news conference the same day a PLO spokesman outlined the Palestinian point of view.