Hussein, Arafat Discuss Peace Initiative
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ King Hussein and Yasser Arafat on Monday held their first meeting on the joint Jordan-PLO Mideast peace initiative since Hussein’s trip to Washington last month, a palace source reported.
They also plan to discuss the results of Hussein’s trip and the situation in the Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon, which are under siege by Shiite Moslem militiamen, said the source. He spoke on condition of anonymity and gave no details.
Secretary of State George P. Shultz said the Reagan administration was encouraged by Hussein’s visit. Foreign Minister Taher el-Masri has said he expects the United States to meet with a Jordanian-Palestinian team in Amman soon to start a peace dialogue.
The Palestine Liberation Organization is to choose Palestinian members of the team. Masri hopes that if initial talks are successful, the United States will agree to talk with the PLO if it recognizes U.N. resolutions that guarantee Israel’s right to exist in return for withdrawal from occupied Arab territories.
Hussein told the Americans that Arafat had agreed to direct negotiations with Israel in the context of an international peace conference based on the U.N. resolutions.
Arafat has refused to endorse the resolutions, a conditiion for American talks with the PLO, unitl the United States recognizes the right of Palestinians to a homeland. The U.N. resolutions refer to Palestinians as refugees.
Hussein and Arafat signed an agreement Feb. 11 calling for peace with Israel in return for its withdrawal from all territory occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. A Palestinian state federated with Jordan would be created in the greater part of that territory.
Israel and the United States oppose an international conference, which would involve the Soviet Union, and an independent Palestinian state.