asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has any plans to meet the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat, during his forthcoming visit to Syria in April; and whether his noble Friend will discuss the possible ramifications of such a meeting when he visits Israel at the end of March.
My right hon. and noble Friend has no plans to meet Mr. Arafat during his forthcoming visits to the Middle East. The question of discussing such a meeting with the Israeli Government does not therefore arise. We have frequently made clear that British Ministers would only be prepared to meet Mr. Arafat if such a meeting were likely to contribute to the cause of peace.