The Michigan Daily-Thursday, June 13, 1980-Page 7
PRIME MINISTER MARGARET THATCHER of Britain and Chancellor
Helmut Schmidt of West Germany arrive at St. Giorgio's Island in Venice,
Italy yesterday to attend the summit of the nine leaders of the European
W. Europe to tighten
ties with Palestinians
VENICE, Italy (AP) - Leaders of
nine Western European countries
committed themselves yesterday to
r closer ties with Palestinians and Arabs
while trying not to anger President Car-
Officials at the summit conference
said Common Market leaders will issue
a declaration today calling for full
Palestinian involvement in the Middle
East peace process, a restart of the
Euro-Arab dialogue, the possibility of a
European fact-finding mission to the
region and mention of the Palestine
Liberation Organization as one of the
interested parties in the negotiations.
AT THE SAME time, the officials
said, the declaration will reaffirm
Western European backing for the U.S.-
sponsored Israeli-Egyptian talks on
Palestinian autonomy and will commit
the Common Market countries to
refrain from anything that might en-
danger U.S. efforts to bring an end to
the Middle East crisis.
Carter had strongly urged the
Europeans not to introduce a new peace
formula for fear of undermining the
talks, which are aimed at arranging a
degree of autonomy for the 1.2 million
Palestinians who live in Israeli-
occupied territory. Palestinians have
refused to join the talks, and Israel
rejects recognition of the PLO as a
representative of the Palestinians.
There would be no formal recognition
of the PLO, in deference to Carter, of-
ficials here said. Leaders of the Com-
mon Market have said that there can be
no comprehensive peace in the Middle
East without PLO involvement in
negotiations, but any idea of formal
recognition apparently was dropped.
A BRITISH official said the
Europeans rejected the Israeli view
that recognition of the PLO as an in-
terested party was the same as formal
recognition. Israel says any mention of
the PLO - which opposed the existence
of the state of Israel - tends to
legitimize its role.
The European leader's spokesmen
went out of their way to call the Middle
East declaration a supplement, rather
than an alternative to the U.S. role.
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