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Middle East

Volume 78: debated on Monday 29 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what reports he has received from Her Majesty's ambassadors in Tunis or Algiers about the public statement on 7 April by the Revolutionary Council of Al-Fatah, as broadcast at 17.02 hours GMT on Voice of Palestine, Algiers, which called for an increase in violence against Israel and absolute rejection of any participation in an American peace initiative; and if he will assess the effect this policy statement will have on implementation of the Venice declaration, as endorsed by Her Majesty's Government;(2) whether, during the Minister of State's recent visit to middle eastern states, he discussed with his hosts the statement by Yasir Arafat in Baghdad on 3 January, as broadcast in Voice of Palestine at 16ยท15 hours GMT, that emphasis must be placed on increasing armed struggle by all available means, and also by Khalid Al-Wazir on the same occasion that armed struggle would remain the first strategy of Palestinian action; and whether his hosts indicated any steps that they could take to achieve acceptance by Mr. Arafat and his supporters of resolution 242.

We have noted statements by some Palestinian spokesmen in favour of armed struggle, but also wide Palestinian support for the Jordanian-Palestinian agreement of 11 February, with its commitment to peaceful negotiations. In our view, all parties to the Arab-Israel dispute should make constructive moves towards negotiations at which the voice of the Palestinians would be heard.