In view of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's rejection of the Israeli-Lebanese agreement at a recent meeting, will the Foreign Secretary now acknowledge that the PLO has no intention, through negotiations, to recognise the state of Israel as such? Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the meeting was counter-productive? Furthermore, in view of the disposition of the PLO and its efforts to achieve its objectives by terrorism, is it not negative to arrange any further ministerial meetings?
No such further meetings have been arranged. I thought that the meeting would be helpful. It was a suggestion that we made some months before. It was possible for my right hon. Friend the Minister of State to make it clear that the PLO had missed a golden opportunity of making progress with a peace plan.
I think it is fair to say that in recent months and over the past year or so the PLO has, by implication, taken steps and made statements that were moving in the direction of that recognition. It has not made such a recognition yet, as we know, but the implication is that its thinking has been in that direction.
I made my position and that of the Government clear when Lebanon was invaded. It is a great relief to everybody, and certainly to the House, that agreement has been reached and that there will be a withdrawal.