Palestine Liberation Organisation

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th May 1983.

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Photo of Mr Francis Pym Mr Francis Pym , Cambridgeshire

There are no such meetings planned at present.

Photo of Mr Lawrence Cunliffe Mr Lawrence Cunliffe , Leigh

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?

Photo of Mr Francis Pym Mr Francis Pym , Cambridgeshire

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.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

Is it likely that the PLO will move in any way whatever towards recognition of Israel at a time when the Israelis seem to be daily announcing the expansion of settlements in Palestinian territory on the West Bank?

Photo of Mr Francis Pym Mr Francis Pym , Cambridgeshire

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.

Photo of Mr George Robertson Mr George Robertson , Hamilton

Did the Prime Minister approve of the meeting and, if so, when will she publicly say so?

Photo of Mr Robert Adley Mr Robert Adley , Christchurch and Lymington

What word would my right hon. Friend use to describe the behaviour of the Israelis in Lebanon?

Photo of Mr Francis Pym Mr Francis Pym , Cambridgeshire

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.