The Palestine National Council, the self-styled Parliament-in-exile of all the Palestinian commando organisations, met in Cairo on Saturday (1 June), to discuss whether they should send representatives to the Middle East Peace talks in Geneva.
The Palestine National Council, the self-styled Parliament-in-exile of all the Palestinian commando organisations, met in Cairo on Saturday (1 June), to discuss whether they should send representatives to the Middle East Peace talks in Geneva. The 151 members of the Council also planned to review the situation, following the Syrian and Egyptian agreements with Israel on disengagement of their forces.
On Sunday (2 June) it became known that the Palestine Liberation Organisation had submitted a ten-point programme to the Council. The programme stopped short of an outright rejection of taking part in the Geneva Peace Conference, but said that they were not in favour of attending on the basis of the United Nations Security Resolution 242. This resolution calls for Israel's withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, and refers only briefly to the Palestinian problem.
Later, a Palestinion official who asked not to be identified, said that the Palestinians would be ready to go to the Geneva Peace Conference if they were invited to discuss the Palestinian cause. He said that the Security Council resolution did not concern Palestinians. It referred to countries whose territories were occupied in the 1967 War.
The spokesman said "If we are invited to discuss the Palestinian cause, and not the refugees problem, we will attend."
During the day, the executive council of the P.L.O. had held a closed session of discussions. It was later reported that the Chairman of the P.L.O. office in Beirut, Mr. Shafik Al-Hout, told the members that the liberation of the entire Palestinian territory was an Arab responsibility, and not only the responsibility of Palestinians.
The reports said that he warned militant members who insist on continuing the armed struggle until the liberation of Palestine is achieved, that "We could not contradict or struggle against Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the Soviet Union". He reminded them that those countries supported a peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem on the basis of Resolution 242.