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Palestine Liberation Organisation

Volume 13: debated on Thursday 26 November 1981

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asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will now list in specific terms any public statements recorded by his Department in the last 12 months made by Yasser Arafat or other Palestine Liberation Organisation leaders which have in any way indicated that the Palestine Liberation Organisation is prepared to accept Israel's right to exist as an independent State; and what resources exist within his Department for monitoring such public statements.

Mr. Arafat said in an interview to the New York Times on 17 August that Crown Prince Fahd's eight principles

"offered a good beginning for a lasting peace in the Middle East".
Asked whether the PLO was now prepared to recognize Israel's right to exist, Mr. Arafat replied as follows:
"I know I have a little card but it is the most precious card in the play, the trump card".
He and other Palestinian leaders have made a number of similar encouraging but insufficiently clear statements in the last year, for example, during Mr. Arafat's recent visit to Tokyo. We have told the PLO that there will be no game for them unless they play this card, or at least clearly display it, first.We have many ways of monitoring public statements of international interest. These include the monitoring of world broadcasts, collection of items from the press and information supplied by our posts abroad.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether diplomatic steps have been taken by his Department to indicate, through other friendly powers, his disapproval of the reported public statements by Palestine Liberation Organisation leaders such as Abu Iyad and Farouk Kaddoumi in Beirut and Havana, respectively, in October expressing pleasure at the assassination of the late President Sadat of Egypt.

We have made clear to the PLO direct and to other friendly powers our disapproval of the reported public reactions of members of the PLO leadership to the assassination of President Sadat.